The Neptune Strategy
By: John J. Gobbell

(344 pages, maps)

Reviewer: James Healy

Overall Rating: Three Stars--Recommended. A solid effort.

Destroyer captain, Commander Todd Ingram is blown overboard during a
Japanese air attack. Much later he is picked up by an enemy sub.
Author John J. Gobbell - himself a former weapon's officer on a
Tin Can - has created a successful action/adventure series built around
his character, Todd Ingram. This is Gobbell's fourth book in the series.

Somewhat like the character Harmon Rabb in the TV series JAG, hero Ingram finds himself in many dangerous situations and is successful in "getting out" of his dilemmas. As in the previous stories, actual military events, real persons and warship details are carefully woven into the telling of the story. In this book, the Mark 24 passive acoustic homing torpedo plays an important role. A German, Martin Taubman is aboard the Japanese sub and slowly develops into the leading adversary of the book. Not to give away too much of the "plot," but Taubman's half-brother is the manager of a Swiss bank. Ingram's continuous beating at the hands of the Japanese seems overdone. His eventual escape from the sub (and a beheading) is also the least plausible event in an otherwise clever and intriguing adventure.

Each book stands alone, and the previous stories are not required reading to appreciate this book. For those who have read the other titles in the series, several of Ingram's friends reappear - including Captain Landa and Laura West, Lt. Oliver Toliver III, and Helen Ingram, Todd's wife. TCS has previously posted on its website a review of an earlier Ingram adventure "When Duty Whispers Low."


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