Silent Service - Virginia Class


The last two months without a PC saw my reading habits change. Whilst I normally try to stick with the WW2/cold war era naval stories, a friend of mine suggested I read one in the series of H Jay. Riker. My friend, who served on board a submarine for 20 years and later as military advisor (and stand in) on the movie Hunt For Red October, thought that I might enjoy Riker.

He was partly right.

Riker has written many books, mainly naval SEAL and submarine orientated, and I selected one of his later issues, about the Virginia Class submairne. (Actually, it was already in my room so technically, it selected me.) The story line is set mid 2006 in the post WTC era. A Chinese submarine has been staffed by Pakistanie Al Queda nationals who engage several civilian targets around the Spratley Islands. Lt Garrett and the newest submarine the Virginia, are rerouted to pick up a Navy Seal team and investigate. During the underwater passage, two Kilo class submarines are in the water at the same time, one the Al Queada sub, the other Chinese. A battle ensues and well...the good guys ride off into the sunset and Garrett gets himself another woman.

On the shelves at any good store, titles are filled with Al Queda related subjects. The truth of the matter though has been that terrorism has been around for centuries, it was only the events of September 11 that thrust it's significance upon the USAmerican people. Ask the residents of the Gaza strip, or Belfast about terrorism, and they can document almost 200 years.

I'm not a great fan of authors that capture an "media frenzy" and translate it through to their stories. In the back of my mind, I am almost sure that at some stage I have played a PC submarine game centred around the Spratley Islands which paralleled this story (might be a Tom Clancy story)

Whilst enjoyable as a read, it's somewhat future setting offset against current affairs wasn't enough to burst my bubble this time.
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