From the USA Today bestselling author of Joshua's Hammer and High Flight On the Bay of Bengal a civilian research vessel witnesses a submarine fire a laser into the sky. Before they can process what they see, the sub blasts them out of the water and captures the lone survivor. Immediately, one of the United States spy satellites becomes inoperative, and seemingly disappears. With the United States blind, Pakistan plans to announce their presence as a nuclear threat with an attack on India that would leave millions dead. The only witnesses to the plan, and the only ones to know that the bomb is small enough to be dropped from an aircraft, are a CIA insertion team, headed by the President's own brother, former Navy SEAL lieutenant Scott Hanson. Their knowledge may prevent a nuclear holocaust, but they've been captured and tortured. Thrust into the action is Commander Frank Dillon, Jr., commanding officer on the American nuclear sub Seawolf, together with a team of SEALs. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Hagberg takes a hiatus from the hair-raising adventures of CIA agent Kirk McGarvey (The Kill Zone; Joshua's Hammer; etc.) to offer this gripping, Clancyesque cat-and-mouse sea chase featuring a state-of-the-art U.S. nuclear submarine and an enemy sub of unknown origin. In the Bay of Bengal, the crew of an oceanographic research vessel witnesses a submarine fire a laser into the sky; moments later, they're blasted out of the water. Meanwhile, in the Pakistani desert, four Navy SEALs, including Scott Hanson, the U.S. president's brother, covertly watch the test of a small hydrogen bomb. They manage to get a message to Kuwait City and shoot down a Pakistani helicopter before being taken prisoner and tortured. The president and his staff conclude that the sub in the Bay of Bengal fired the laser to damage a U.S. spy satellite and thereby prevent surveillance of Pakistan's preparations to unleash a nuclear strike on India. Cmdr. Frank Dillon Jr., skipper of the nuclear sub Seawolf, is ordered to launch a team of Navy SEALs into Pakistan to rescue their captive teammates. When a highly placed spy in Washington betrays the mission, the Seawolf is diverted back to the Bay of Bengal to try to stop the mystery submarine from again disabling the spy satellite, now scheduled for repair by a team of astronauts. Superb pacing moves well-drawn characters toward nuclear brinkmanship, and the slight surplus of military nomenclature and government agency alphabetese is easily overlooked in this spellbinding read. (Aug.) FYI: Including the 15 titles Hagberg wrote pseudonymously as Sean Flannery, this is the 31st novel by the former Air Force cryptographer. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 31, 2004
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Excerpt from By Dawn's Early Light by David Hagberg
BAY OF BENGAL
Even three hundred kilometers offshore from Calcutta, in three thousand meters of water, the sea was stained brown by garbage. The 197-foot oceanographic research ship Eagle Flyer made her way slowly to the northeast, roughly parallel to India's east coast, wallowing in the long, oily swells.
Marcella Wallner, a slightly built, plain, almost tomboyish looking blonde, had not been able to sleep despite the air-conditioning in her cabin. The sun was just rising on the horizon and already the outside temperature was one hundred degrees Fahrenehit. But she wasn't tired. She had been out here studying sharks for almost two months with another month to go, and she was still excited. This was exactly what she wanted to be doing, skippering a research vessel, in exactly the right part of the world, the Indian Ocean.
She had sent the night watch below, and sat in the pilot's chair, propping her tiny boat shoes on the compass binnacle. Dawn was her favorite time of the day, when the world was as fresh as it would get; quiet, clean, brand-new like a first love. She chuckled aloud.
Someone came onto the bridge from the research center behind her. She saw his reflection in the window glass. "I thought that I was the only one who couldn't sleep," she said.
"What was so funny?" her chief scientist, Dr. John Simensen, asked. The crew called him Long John because of his tall, lanky frame. Marcella thought he was attractive. They had been sleeping together for the past two weeks. "I thought maybe I was going crazy. It's going to be hot today, the air stinks, the ocean is like a cesspool out here and I'm loving it."