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Nimitz Class
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Film rights sold to Universal

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The Nimitz Class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Thomas Jefferson and its accompanying Carrier Battle Group is secretly attacked and destroyed. At first, the loss of the carrier and its 6000-person crew is deemed an accident, but Lieutenant Commander Bill Baldridge convinces the president that the ship was attacked by a diesel sub with a nuclear-tipped torpedo. The ensuing investigation takes him from Britain's top-flight submarine school to the depths of the Bosporus in pursuit of a rogue Iraqi sub captain and his commandeered Russian submarine. Robinson (One Hundred Days, Naval Institute Pr., 1992) weaves a tale of intrigue mixed with modern naval lore. While not a page-turner of the Clancy class, this story is riveting for its plausibility. Readers of this genre will eagerly plunge into this story. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/97.]‘Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora

In a scenario rendered with terrifying plausibility, the Nimitz Class aircraft carrier Thomas Jefferson, on station in the Arabian Sea, surrounded by its Battle Group of cruisers, destroyers and frigates, with its aircraft, weapons and 6000 sailors, is vaporized by a nuclear explosion. What appears at first to be a horrible accident turns out to be an act of terrorism, the result of an attack by a nuclear-tipped torpedo. Behind the attack lurk Baghdad and a "genius" Iraqi submariner trained by the British and now on the loose in a Russian-built Kilo sub. Only Lt. Commander Bill Baldridge, brother of one of the officers slain aboard the Thomas Jefferson, has the requisite experience and imagination to understand the possibility and implications of the attack. Now he must convince his superiors and his colleagues in other nations of his theories before he can set about staving off further attacks and achieving justice. While the rich technical detail here is impeccable, every bit the equal of Clancy's, the storytelling is not. British journalist Robinson writes ponderous prose and his pacing is fitful as the action too often gives way to talk while the Western military forces develop strategies to deal with the situation. Military fiction fans will admire his authoritative exploitation of weaponery and tactics, however, and most readers will be engaged, despite some sluggish passages, by his persuasive cautionary tale about the perils of military downsizing at a time when rogue nations are amassing weapons of great and terrible destructiveness. 250,000 first printing; $325,000 ad/promo; film rights optioned by John McTiernan; simultaneous HarperAudio; foreign rights sold in the U.K., France, Germany, Holland, Brazil and Italy; translation, first serial and dramatic rights: Ed Victor. (June)

YA‘Three seemingly unrelated happenings set the stage for drama. First, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a young fisherman discovers the body of a drowned sailor. Second, underneath the surface of the Bosporus, a Russian diesel submarine secretly makes its way toward the Middle East to carry out a plan masterminded by Benjamin Adnam, an Israeli citizen. Third, the USS Thomas Jefferson, a powerful aircraft carrier manned by a complement of 6000 crew members, patrols the waters of the Indian Ocean. Suddenly, her blip vanishes from the radar screens of the other warships in her battle group. The ensuing investigation of her disappearance uncovers a sinister plot of brilliance and intrepid execution. The characters are lifelike and convincing, especially Lt. Commander Bill Baldridge, the Pentagon's primary sleuth looking into the mystery. He works closely with Admiral Sir Iain MacLean, a retired submarine flag officer of the Royal Navy. MacLean's family plays a secondary role in the story and his daughter provides the romantic element. Perhaps the most interesting person is Adnam, the villain whose machinations are the heart of the narrative. This suspense tale is written in a clear and compelling style and succeeds at creating and sustaining an aura of tension, surprise, and disbelief. The plot is reminiscent of Tom Clancy's popular thrillers; but, since it is less technical, it should appeal to an even wider audience.‘Peggy Mooney, Pohick Public Library, Burke, VA

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