Into the Fire


Title:                      Into the Fire

Author:                Dick Couch

Crouch, Dick (2015) and George Galdorisi. Into The Fire: A Novel / created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin

LCCN:    2015007284

PS3553.O769 I58 2015

Summary

  • “When a team of assassins murder a high-ranking North Korean general and his family in their sleep, making it look like a robbery, events are set in motion that could shake the balance of world powers. Meanwhile, a U.S. naval combat ship, the USS Milwaukee, is attacked by North Korean forces in the middle of a training exercise off the shore of South Korea, and Commander Kate Bigelow is forced to ground the ship to avoid being captured. The crew takes refuge on a tiny island, trapped dangerously between the grounded ship and a fleet of hostile North Korean soldiers. Op-Center intelligence discovers a secret alliance behind the attack–a pact between China and North Korea that guarantees China total control of a vast oil reserve found beneath the Yellow Sea. As both sides marshal their forces for a major confrontation at sea, Chase Williams and his Op-Center organization devise a plan to secretly spirit the American crew from the island and out from under North Korean control. But the North Koreans are not finished. In a desperate gamble, they unleash a terrorist cell on the American homeland. Only Op-Center can uncover their plan and stop it in time to prevent a major catastrophe that could lead to all-out war”– Provided by publisher.

LC Subjects

Series

  • Tom Clancy’s Op-center

Date Posted:      August 8, 2017

Tensions flare in Northwest Asia and Op-Center races to prevent World War III in this chilling, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller from the authors of the USA Today bestseller Out of the Ashes.

When a team of assassins murder a high-ranking North Korean general and his family in their sleep, making it look like a robbery, events are set in motion that could shake the balance of world powers. Meanwhile, a U.S. naval combat ship, the USS Milwaukee, is attacked by North Korean forces in the middle of a training exercise off the shore of South Korea, and Commander Kate Bigelow is forced to ground the ship to avoid being captured. The crew takes refuge on a tiny island, trapped dangerously between the grounded ship and a fleet of hostile North Korean soldiers.

Op-Center intelligence discovers a secret alliance behind the attack—a pact between China and North Korea that guarantees China total control of a vast oil reserve found beneath the Yellow Sea. As both sides marshal their forces for a major confrontation at sea, Chase Williams and his Op-Center organization devise a plan to secretly spirit the American crew from the island and out from under North Korean control. But the North Koreans are not finished. In a desperate gamble, they unleash a terrorist cell on the American homeland. Only Op-Center can uncover their plan and stop it in time to prevent a major catastrophe that could lead to all-out war.

I am of two minds about this review. I have enjoyed the Op-Center series, and hoped that this book would put a fresh new look on the series.

The book was indeed an excellent read. When I read my first Tom Clancy book I didn’t want to put it down. This book held me similarly. It’s Dick Couch who is writing, but he caught my attention and interest and I kept reading.

What did bother me is that the book was not what I expected. It didn’t seem to me that the OP-Center was the main character of the novel. Yes, they are still the best set of intelligence gathering people and they have some good technical and military people involved. However, the story revolved more around Captain Kate Bigelow and the USS Milwaukee. This Naval Vessel is not a war-time fighting vessel; it is a mine sweeper that carries little or no defensive weapons. But as the Milwaukee joins with the Defender (another U.S. minesweeper) and a South Korean flotilla they are approached by North Korean Naval Vessels that are wanting to capture and take prisoner all the naval personnel on the Milwaukee just like the USS Pueblo from the last century.

Captain Kate Bigelow is a great leader, and she takes her no-weapon vessel and uses it as a way to hold off the two Korean Vessels and allowing the flotilla to escape. Nevertheless, in spite of her remarkable delaying action, and the work of an outstanding crew, she does lose the ship and some of her crew, and comes close to having everyone captured.

OP-Center analyzes the situation and provides the U.S. President with a way to intervene and get the crew back. But this could lead to all-out war. This was my disappointment. I am an intel wonk, and wanted Op-Center to be the main focus of the book. Op-Center plays a minor role in the book, but of course a major action regarding decision making about the situation.

The book is compelling with today’s political and military situations with North Korea. They are a menace to the world and need to be contained and in a sense reprimanded much as a stubborn child should be.

Dick Couch gets the situation right and does a great job of bringing the situation to a climax that you will find impressive and well written.

I’m happy with this new edition to OP-Center, but must say that it is not like our old OP-Center but still worth the read.

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