Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rogue Crusader, by John Monteith

This is the third installment in "The Rogue" series by John Monteith.  John is a new writer, to me, and I didn't discover him as much as they discovered me.  His publisher sent me a notice of the book and asked if I would consider giving it a review.

I read the book this week and loved it.  I think that John does a masterful job in giving us a very plausible scenario that will make you shutter.

His writing is on par with Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn and W.E.B. Griffin.  I believe that you enjoy military adventure novels you will enjoy this one.  I was so captivated by the story that I now want to go back and read the first two in the series.

John does a good job of developing the characters, developing the plot line, putting in enough technical material so that you know you are reading something done by someone who knows his subject (he is a former naval man himself).  He has good use of the English language, good skill in writing suspense and doesn't appear 'jerky' in going from one sub-plot to the next and then back again.  They all tie together well.

I want to thank Christina Salem for bringing John's writing to my attention.

For a limited time if you are an Amazon Prime Member you can download a "Kindle" version of the book for free.  But frankly, if you have to pay for it, it is well worth the price, and why not pay for it and at least give the author the royalties that he deserves.  Just a side not, I paid for my copy because I believe a writer deserves his pay :)


John Monteith does a great job of settling up the plot of the story and the characters. His writing is crisp, clean and to the point. My only desire that was not fulfilled was for the story to not end, but the action to keep going. But I believe that is one of the signs of a good author, keep the reader wanting more.

The scenario, one of Israel's new and highly weaponized submarines is boarded by Muslim fanatics who are able to kill the crew and take control of the submarine. All of this is done at sea and while the sub is moving at 10 to 14 knots. Not an easy trick to do with a submarine. Putting a boarding party on a surface vessel is one thing, but getting a boarding party on a submarine is a whole different game. It was not something that I could imagine happening, but Monteith brings it to life, shows it is possible and also shows to what lengths an enemy will go to hijack an enemy vessel.

I won't give away how the Muslim terrorist hijack the submarine, but it is classic and one that you will find almost unbelieveable.

Now enters our hero, Jake Slate. He is a disgraced former American Military man who in previous books disgraced his uniform by stealing an American sub and going rogue. But because his efforts proved to be detrimental to America's enemies and a positive win for America he has found himself in the good graces of the CIA and clandestinely the United States Government. They have given him a pass on his indescrection and allowed him to enter the U.S. under what we might term a probationary lifestyle.

But when Israel looses a sub and America finds itself in a position of not being able to "directly" intervene Jake is asked to round up his friends, use a "French" submarine and go and stop the rogue Sub from Israel. The French sub is going to be on it's supposed shake down cruise before being turned over to the French government. But really they are on a mission to stop the terrorist.

Monteith does a great job of building the tension, writing about naval warfare, throwing a spy or two into the mix and then even getting a bit of Romance into his novel. There are at least three different story lines that will all come together to form one intricate story that has such plausable merit that the government would do well to read, analyse and ask some questions about whether this scenario could actually happen.

I think that Monteith hits a home run the same way that Tom Clancy hit a home run with his military novels and ended up having to defend his writing to the government and prove that he hadn't stole 'classified' documents to make his stories real.

Monteith shows a good understanding of naval life. A good understanding of how submarines work. A good understanding of how dangerous it is to assume that you are safe. And finally how dangerous it is that we as American's have become relaxed in our security measures surrounding our military bases and ships. Really, how can a civilian woman dating a Captain of an American Destroyer be granted access to the ship while it is docked at port, especially if she is not an American citizen?

Well, it happens. I personally was able to approach a Los Angeles Class Submarine on the naval base at Norfolk while on vacation one year. I remember wondering how I, a civilian, with no military background, could be granted the priviliege of being on base and allowed so close to modern warships.

Monteith gives us a great read while also pointing out to us that we, "American", ought to wake up before this scenario becomes reality.

If you love Military / Spy / Adventure novels you will love this novel. Thank you John Monteith for an excellent thrilling read.

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