Sunday, May 4, 2014

"The Trident Deception"

A native of Cocoa, Florida, Rick Campbell attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and spent over thirty years in the Navy. His tours of duty include four nuclear powered submarines, the Pentagon, and the Undersea Weapons Program Office. On his last submarine, he was one of the two men whose permission was required to launch its twenty-four nuclear warhead-tipped missiles.

Campbell considered writing for many years, and as he approached retirement from the Navy, he wrote The Trident Deception, a novel that draws on his extensive knowledge of submarine warfare. He applied the Page 69 Test to The Trident Deception and reported the following:
I think The Trident Deception gets both an "A" and an "F" for The Page 69 Test. For reference, page 69 begins with:
A black Suburban, its blue lights flashing, crossed the 14th Street Bridge at the end of rush hour. Forcing its way across three lanes of heavy traffic, an identical Suburban followed closely behind. Christine, sitting in the passenger seat of the lead vehicle next to Agent Kenney, ended her phone call without a word, her eyes fixed on the rapidly nearing Pentagon.
And page 69 ends with:
Christine and the two agents sped through the Pentagon entrance as they flashed their badges to security personnel, then after dropping down three levels via the A-Ring escalators, headed out along Corridor 9 toward the outermost ring. They eventually reached the end of a long hallway where two Marines stood in front of a large security door.

“Open the door,” Christine ordered.

“We can’t,” the Marine on the left answered, "the door won’t unlock, and there's no response from inside."
The Trident Deception is a thriller, and I think page 69 captures that essence. No fancy prose, no deep thought about the meaning of life. But I think it piques your average thriller reader's attention - What's going on? Why are they racing to the Pentagon? Why won't the door unlock? Who's inside and why aren't they answering? And of course, the scene incorporates the essential thriller ingredient of the race against time. So I think it gets an "A" for that part.

However, more specifically, The Trident Deception is billed as a submarine thriller, and page 69 does not accurately capture that! (It's actually about 50% submarine thriller and 50% espionage / political thriller, and page 69 captures the non-submarine parts of the plot.) So I think page 69 gets an "F" for not being representative of the submarine thriller part of the book.
Learn more about the book and author at Rick Campbell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue