Book Review: ‘Blackmail’ Is An Exciting Thriller Looking At A US And Russia War

The United States has just finished a war with China that we won. It has a heavy price for the military with losses and a reduction in submarines and ships that need repair. The last thing anyone was expecting now was for Russia to decide that they would try and take advantage of that war to regain their military might over the world. In his next book in his submarine series, Rick Campbell takes on the next war in Blackmail (St. Martin’s Press; in stores Tuesday, June 27).

A U.S. carrier in the Pacific ocean is damaged by a Russian ship. When the United States President calls the Russian President he’s told it was an accident. Not believing it for a minute a retaliation is ordered. It was an accident the Russians are told. The Russians have a plan to take over the West and put the rest of the world on notice. When they invade Ukraine and Lithuania NATO is called into emergency session. Not having enough troops to offset the Russians votes and plans are put on hold.

After a call with Russian President Kalinin he lays out his plans. The United States and NATO are not to interfere. The Russians have set up bombs on all the major oil fields in the middle east and around the world and will blow them up. Coming up with plans to take on Russia isn’t easy. Once the plans are put in place things move swiftly. Ships and submarines are re-routed. The search is on for an over-ride to cancel out all the bombs (which are on a motion detector and cannot be stopped except for the over-ride code). The war is finally on with a sneak attack by the Americans with ships and air power. It will all come down to finding the man that made the bombs and getting him to give the U.S. the code to stop oil fields from being blown up.

Blackmail is an exciting, thrill ride through the battle. I couldn’t put the book down as each page brought things closer to the climactic battle. Rick Campbell is a retired Navy Commander who spent more than 20 years on submarines. It shows in his detailed writing of the battles and how the bombs are loaded and released. The other thing I liked about the book was the chapters were quick and too the point. No excess filler that some books have. It really is a quick and easy read.

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