Joe Buff is the author of Deep Sound Channel. He lives in Dutchess County, New York, with his wife and fellow writer, Sheila Buff.
Exciting battle scenes, fascinating naval maneuvers and accessible technical data are offset by clich‚d villains and tenuous narrative logic in this debut submarine warfare thriller set in the year 2011. World War III has begun, and Germany and South Africa, armed with nuclear weapons from a "neutral" Russia, are allied against the U.S. and Britain. The brunt of the war is borne by naval forces in deadly nuclear combat. Lt. Comdr. Jeffrey Fuller finds his state-of-the-art submarine, the U.S.S. Challenger, pulled from battle duty to run a covert team of Navy SEALs into Durban, South Africa. The mission: to destroy the secret lab where an ultra-lethal biological weapon is being perfected. Ilse Reebeck, a Durban marine biologist who worked at the lab until her family was executed in a Boer coup, is along as sonar consultant, and it is she who will lead the raid. But first Challenger must navigate a heavily mined port and evade enemy tracking devices and nuclear torpedo attacks launched by its South African counterpart under the command of Capt. Jan ter Horst. The fearless ter Horst, who is Ilse Reebeck's former lover, is the epitome of arrogant evil; their relationship adds a personal edge to the struggle. Buff scripts suspenseful submarine action and invents clever futuristic naval tricks as Challenger and its crew play dueling subs with ter Horst's vessel and improvise on the Durban raid. The inevitable romance is well handled, but the villains are straight from central casting, as are many of the good guys. A satisfying, cliff-hanging ending suggests a sequel. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Puts the reader in the hull of a deep-diving combat Virginia-class
submarine on a mission to hell itself....A superb high-water mark
in naval fiction."
--Michael DiMercurio, author of Threat Vector and Piranha Firing Point
"Deep Sound Channel is a hell of a read."
--David Hagberg, author of Assassin and Without Honor "An action-packed thriller that is all too real. Lots of action, lots of grit."
--Dick Couch, Capt., U.S. Navy (Ret.), author of Rising Wind "Nonstop and exhilarating...chilling and fascinating. Joe Buff takes the reader on a frightening ride in harm's way. A damn good story."
--Eric L. Harry, author of Invasion and Arc Light "A sobering look into the possible future of undersea warfare-the one environment where nuclear weapons can, and probably will, be used."
--P. T. Deutermann, Capt., U.S. Navy (Ret.), author of Train Man and Scorpion in the Sea "Deep Sound Channel demonstrates Joe Buff's intimate knowledge of undersea warfare....Nonstop action!"
--Barrett Tillman, author of The Sixth Battle and Warriors
It is 2011, and the world is at war. Fascist coups in Germany and South Africa have created an unholy axis that is fighting the United States and her allies. Tactical nukes are used by both sides with great loss of life. This is a great premise, and Buff knows weapons and warfare. However, his descriptions are overly technical, his characters one-dimensional, and the nontechnical dialog trite. Nor is the overall premise plausible. For instance, it is unlikely that Germany, a traditional land power, would be willing and able to fight and sustain a major land war in southern Africa. Confronting defeat, the Axis plans biological warfare measures that Lt. Commander Jeff Fuller and the obligatory gorgeous blonde scientist set out to forestall. Their success is almost too easy, and the subsequent submarine chase is confusing. The ending implies a sequel; one hopes it is torpedoed. For larger collections.--Robert Convoy, Warren, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.