Just like any other genre, this one has its share of book churning opportunists better at getting printed than telling a tale, but there are enough good ones out there to provide a spot for recognizing the efforts.
I just read David Poyer's Tomahawk, an apparent (though I'm not certain) stand alone novel which is a good read by a good writer, one that satisfies as well as disappoints somewhat in treading unfamiliar ground for this type of book, wherein the hero of the story.Click to see Spoiler:essentially commits career suicide before having second thoughts about his second thoughts about his naval career
One attractive element about this novel that differs from most I encounter
in the genre is in its inclusion of real time personages and events as background. The historical connections make for a more interesting story in this case, allow the story to rise above being just a story and constitute to some degree an educational trip down memory lane.
Many if not most military thrillers have an 'us against them' flavor incorporated into the story, where the 'them' is some domestic internal annoyance or threat like a suspect president or congress as much or more than the external foes the military is tasked to contend with.
This book has a dose of that, but much more effectively and non-partisanly presented. This novel presents more of the real life nuts and bolt factors involved when dealing with the contrasting goals of an executive branch, legislative branch, contractors and inter-service rivals.
This author capably dished out a story involving multi-layers that a lessor author would have dealt with over several non-compelling novels.
Prior to that, the last thriller of this type I finished was pseudonymous father/son Gordon Kent's Rules Of Engagement, another fine read. Unlike a Clancy type Jack Ryan, who grows over the course of a half dozen novels, the main character in this book does an impressive amount of growth over the course of several years in one.
That growth is one of the attractions of this story, seeing the officer move incrementally from his initial lowly position to one where he becomes a force to be reckoned with, even if he's a bit of a loose cannon in his approach. He's fixated on finding out who caused his dad's death (something he witnessed), following orders and directives is something he occasionally has trouble doing, which might well have caused him more grief than it did if he weren't so fortunately favored with good luck when it counted most.
I especially liked some of the imagery offered, as when his father, a carrier based fighter squadron commander had words for just about each and every person he encountered about one issue or another while simultaneously carrying a conversation with his son. Lots and lots of management involved that seldom gets much mention. Seeing as it was mentioned, though, it served to accentuate the lack of any similar mention of responsibilities for the main character.
Any Ensign Pulver is going to be wearing more than one hat in most any environment I can imagine, responsible in make work manner if for no other reason for being in charge of some enlisted personnel in some capacity. That wasn't the case for this particular Lt jg.
Reading provided a little balance in how long an actual NCIS investigation might take, and I found out one consequence involved with mistakenly
landing your plane on someone elses carrierClick to see Spoiler:That carriers crew repaints and marks your plane with THEIR colors/logos, necessitating a repaint once you get back to your own carrier, something the pilot has to pay every hand that helps with in a beer bash. Lots and lots of helpers for that chore