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Monday, 7 February 2022



Nick Ryan’s sixth book in his World War III techno-thriller series is gripping stuff. Where the earlier books relate to combat in Europe, this one concerns submarine warfare in the Pacific against China.

Commander Chris Coe is an old-school submariner and is abrasive with regard to his XO, Richard Wickham, so we have two types of conflict – personal and military.

The nuclear boat Oklahoma City is tasked with searching for a Chinese convoy and destroying it. The technical details seem authentic: the tension is raised as the vessels employ counter-measures, guile and gutsy experience.

Interestingly, Ryan’s website gives a blow-by-blow account of WWIII – without recourse to nuclear weapons! He must have been prescient, anticipating the January 2022 announcement from the five powers that they would not resort to nuclear weapons in any conflict!

The website is – and it makes fascinating reading. Gradually, he appears to be writing thrillers of similar length based on this timeline.

Let’s hope it all stays as fiction.

Editorial comment

Nothing that follows spoiled my enjoyment and appreciation of the book. However:

I bought the paperback so my comments relate to that; some of the comments won’t apply to the e-book version.

The cover is excellent. However, there’s no text on the spine. This mitigates buying/collecting any others in the series as they'll all be 'anonymous' on my bookshelves!

As this was published on Amazon, I must assume Mr Ryan is using Kindle Direct. Any book published in this system can have spine text if the page-count is in excess of 130. This book has 185 pages; so no excuse.

There are no page numbers! (I agree, this doesn’t matter for an e-book). The new KDP process requires creating an e-book first. But the text that is loaded can contain headers and footers, including page numbers; the second process is converting to a paperback where these features will show in the paperback. [Check out my book Mission: Khyber, a psychic spy novel in paperback and e-book, which shows how it can be done.]

Chapter headings are cramped and amateurish.

Typos listed below aren’t traceable by page number – see above!

‘dressed in hiv-viz colored vests’ should be ‘hi-viz’.

It may be different in the US Navy, but certainly in the Royal Navy, when referring to the 24-hour clock, only the number is used: 2300 – not ‘2300 hours’. The British army and air force use the suffix ‘hours’ however.

‘loosen the reigns’ – should be ‘reins’ [occurs more than once, I think]

‘computer-like monitor’ – surely it should simply be ‘monitor’?

‘carried a compliment of largely outdated torpedoes’ – should be ‘complement’ [this occurs twice]

‘sober expressions on his officer’s faces’ – this should be ‘expressions on his officers’ faces’ – there’s more than one officer so the apostrophe follows the ‘es’.

‘men poured over the imagery’ – should be ‘pored’.

‘Code strode into the wardroom’ – should be ‘Coe’.

‘tone was edge with frantic desperation’ – should be ‘edged’.

‘taut and nerve-wracking minutes’ – should be ‘nerve-racking’ (as if the nerves are on a rack; wrack is seaweed)


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