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The Naval Submarine League rarely includes reviews of fictional literature in this journal, but their willingness to include this review of Final Bearing required little stretch from their emphasis on non-fiction.

George Wallace with the capable aid of Don Keith has created a novel that is all too close to reality. The American demand for illegal and addictive drugs, the formidable and persistent South American drug industry, the imaginative distribution schemes to deliver those drugs to an all too ready-to-receive market, and the Joint military and government agency effort to intercept and squelch this traffic are well known to the American public.

A cast-off DEA agent and a crusty retirement-eligible Seattle policeman respond to the drug overdose death of a young woman in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Other similar deaths accumulate at an alarming rate. Dark street rumors abound of a costly and unusually potent strain of cocaine, but its origin is unclear. The trail eventually leads to a Colombian drug lord, determined to rescue his people from poverty through a revolution financed by a drug that will yield millions of dollars to his cause.

Enter the San Diego based element of the Joint Drug Interdiction Agency led by a SEAL Special Forces commander and supported by Commander John Ward, Commanding Officer of the gallant but aging submarine, USS SPADEFISH. Together they tum a routine Submarine Force counter-drug operation into a full-scale offense within the verdant and nearly impenetrable jungle of an ancient Incan Empire and at sea in pursuit of a mini-sub manned by discontented Europeans and a tramp steamer funded by a surprising Chinese source.

If you can still feel the roll of a submarine at periscope depth and the anxiety produced by a sudden alarm from the Reactor Plant Control Panel, if you still enjoy action-packed adventure and the surprises a good piece of fiction can bring to your easy chair, you’ll love this first saga by George Wallace.

And if you like this one, you’re sure to enjoy his next. I’ve already read the galley and it’s even better.


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