"As in Tom Clancy's technothrillers, the war maneuvers feel authentic and are described in stellar detail." —Booklist on Blackmail
In Rick Campbell's new thriller Blackmail, a bold military and political strike by the Russian government leaves the U.S. reeling, crippled and vulnerable, with only a desperate long shot chance to avoid a devastating world war.
The U.S. aircraft carrier patrolling the Western Pacific Ocean is severely damaged by a surprise salvo of cruise missiles. While the Russian government officially apologizes, claiming it was the result of fire control accident during a training exercise, it was instead a calculated provocation. With the U.S. Pacific fleet already severely under strength, the Russian President decides that the US response is a clear indication of their weakness, militarily and politically, and initiates a bold plan.
Political unrest is spreading through the Eastern European states. The Russian Northern Fleet moves swiftly in the Mediterranean Sea, the Russian army is moving west to the border, and Russian Baltic and Black Sea Fleets are mobilized. In one bold strike, the Russian army moves to reoccupy a large number of the industrialized areas of the former USSR, while blockading the vital sea passages through which the world’s oil and natural gas transit. To make matters worse, Russia’s Special Forces have wired every major oil and natural gas pipeline with explosives. If the U.S. makes one move to thwart Russia, they’ll destroy them all. The U.S. is risking disaster if it acts, but the alternative is quite possibly worse. Torn between the unthinkable and the impossible, the only possible move—to launch an attack on all fronts, simultaneously.
In Campbell's enthralling fourth military action thriller (after 2016's Ice Station Nautilus), the Russians decide that the time is right to attack the U.S. because the U.S.'s navy has been seriously depleted by the war with China that was the focus of 2015's Empire Rising. Russian president Yuri Kalinin decides to test the Americans by approving an assault on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the western Pacific. When the U.S. doesn't immediately retaliate after the Roosevelt is badly damaged, Kalinin thinks America has lost its resolve to fight and initiates a plan to take over Lithuania and Ukraine. In response, the U.S. attacks Russian naval forces off the coast of Iran; the Russians counterattack, and the war is on. The submarine and surface-ship battles are pitch-perfect, and readers will shudder with every missile strike and every exploding depth charge. They will also cheer as the U.S. president and his advisers, including series star Christine O'Connor, figure out a way for the outgunned American forces to prevail.
Can’t get enough of Rick Campbell
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Review from a former nuclear submariner
I have recently read all four of Rick Cambell’s books and can tell you from first hand experience, they are exciting and as accurate as possible in depicting global conflict and undersea warfare.