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Black Storm (Dan Lenson Series #7) [NOOK Book]


With blistering action sequences and incredibly detailed military insight, Black Storm takes the reader along with the most covert Special Ops group straight to Saddam Hussein's stronghold, through harrowing instances of close-quarters combat, and into the heart of danger.

A Maniacal Leader
With coalition forces amassing at the Iraqi border, Saddam Hussein issues a terrifying threat: In response to any ...
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Black Storm (Dan Lenson Series #7)

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With blistering action sequences and incredibly detailed military insight, Black Storm takes the reader along with the most covert Special Ops group straight to Saddam Hussein's stronghold, through harrowing instances of close-quarters combat, and into the heart of danger.

A Maniacal Leader
With coalition forces amassing at the Iraqi border, Saddam Hussein issues a terrifying threat: In response to any Allied offense, he will use his most secret weapon to destroy Israel. Counting down the hours before their forces invade, American commanders must decide whether this threat is the last-minute posturing of a madman-or a calculated promise from one of the world's most feared commanders.

An Impossible Mission
With thousands of innocent lives hanging in the balance, a long-range force reconnaissance team has been assembled and given the most daunting task: locate a weapon that no one can find or identify. Lieutenant Commander Dan Lenson, attached to the team to help program the airstrike that will cripple Saddam, finds himself humping through enemy territory with a group of hardened marines. They're headed straight for central Baghdad in what will be the most dangerous operation of the war. Now Lenson must decide whether the secret he carries is worth the life of his teammates-and his own...

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Editorial Reviews

Vince Flynn
...a gripping,gritty novel that reads like the real thing...David Poyer knows his stuff.
H.W. Jenkins
...distinguished by quick actions and continuing suspense that will keep the reader on edge until the very end.
Publishers Weekly
Generally one of the best writers of military action novels, lately Poyer seems to be having trouble charting a steady course. Here, as in his previous Dan Lenson saga China Sea, he suffers some disappointing lapses. Set in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, the plot moves a curiously matched team of five U.S. Marines plus Lt. Comdr. Dan Lenson (now a navy missile expert) and army Maj. Maureen Maddox (a biological warfare savant) across 500 miles of desert, from Saudi Arabia to Baghdad, trying to avert Saddam Hussein's threat to unleash an unspecified weapon of mass destruction on Tel Aviv. Led by a veteran marine gunnery sergeant and his combat-tested assistant team leader, the group is rounded out with a radio operator, a veteran sniper and an untested rookie. The mission is to chopper in to a safe zone two days from Baghdad and rendezvous with an indigenous friendly asset to guide them to the final jumping-off point just outside Baghdad. Their goal: to reach Saddam's stronghold through the maze of sewers and drains beneath the ancient city. A last-minute change orders a link-up with a British sergeant who has been operating behind the lines; he turns out to be a loose cannon, and the mission starts to go sour almost from the start. Action and suspense are in short supply, ladled out between overlong descriptions of desert and the insides of the Baghdad sewer system. There's too much obscure military jargon, hokey capture and escape, and a work-worn plot, but military action fans and the Poyer faithful will be rewarded by a thrilling conclusion. Regional author tour. (June 3) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An American frigate clashes with a Chinese pirate warship in Poyer's latest nautical adventure, which begins innocuously enough when Dan Lenson takes command of the USS Gaddis, an embattled vessel that has just been donated to Pakistan. Lenson is supposed to captain the ship only to its final destination, where his onboard Pakistani counterpart is scheduled to take over, but a disastrous emergency rescue of an Egyptian vessel near the Suez Canal reveals the tension between the American and Pakistani crews and their unease with the terms of the donation. Saddled with a ragtag, mutinous crew, Lenson is further plagued by an unidentified serial killer on board, who continues to elude capture. The voyage takes yet another strange turn when the captain gets new orders to head for China, and finds his ship involved in an international mission to curb a Chinese pirate operation while the rest of the world watches the U.S. take on Saddam Hussein. As the operation progresses, Lenson realizes he is being steered toward a final confrontation with a Chinese warship, knowing full well that if he loses the battle, the existence of his mission will be disavowed by his superiors. Poyer displays a fine sense of pace and plot when the focus is on seagoing affairs, and the battle scenes are scintillating and satisfying. But several nagging problems surface: the author occasionally gets caught up in nautical jargon; the writing veers toward cliche when the narrative drifts from the ship's maneuvers; and several plot machinations involving a relatively insignificant incident strain credulity. Poyer is a master of the genre, but this title lacks the consistency of his best work. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Days before the massive ground attack that will climax the 1991 Gulf War, the Allies make a shocking discovery Saddam Hussein may have a weapon of mass destruction that he intends to use against Israel. However, no one is sure what it is, where it is, or, for that matter, whether it really exists. Lt.-Commander Dan Lenson, hero of a half-dozen other modern navy novels by Poyer (e.g., China Sea), leads a mission into Baghdad to find and destroy the weapon at all costs. A band of highly trained and skilled marines and a woman doctor who specializes in biological warfare accompany Lenson. Poyer captures the technical and emotional feel of such a dangerous mission, which ranges across the bleak desert and through the claustrophobic sewers of Baghdad. It is also a mission that must be carried out by otherwise ordinary and flawed human beings. Tense, exciting, and gripping, Poyer's latest will not disappoint fans of his Dan Lenson novels. For all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Men (and a valorous woman) at war: the reliable Poyer spins another of his patented grace-under-pressure tales. It's 1991, Desert Shield. As the Allies prepare to invade Iraq, General Schwarzkopf gets an unsettling message from "the demon" himself. Send but one Allied tank across his border, Saddam Hussein blusters, and Tel Aviv will be made "a crematorium." How? With what? A bluff? Probably, but Saddam has earned a nasty kind of credibility, and the high command feels certain he's ruthless enough to do anything. Does he actually have a nuclear whatnot tucked away in his arsenal? Or-the greater likelihood-something biological? Hastily, a task force (code-named Signal Mirror) is assembled and given top priority plus a clear-cut mission: find out. Spear-heading Signal Mirror is a contingent of specially trained Marines with two "attachments": Lieutenant Commander Dan Lenson, the stalwart Navy missiles expert who makes his seventh Poyer appearance (China Seas, 2000, etc.), and tough-minded Major Maureen Maddox, an Army doctor, who's as smart as they come about microbes. If, in fact, Saddam's weapon of mass destruction exists, it's bound to be secreted somewhere in Baghdad, allied intelligence decides, and in the dead of night the Signal Mirror team is helicoptered into Iraq as close to the capital as possible. They are to link up with a certain friendly Iraqi in the hope that he'll serve as guide as well as a source of further information. The link-up takes place, but the guide proves less friendly and considerably less informed than billed. Firefights, counterproductive internal strife, obstacles of one debilitating sort or another ensue, and when Signal Mirror's remnants finally arrive atSaddam's underground hidey-hole, it's to discover-well, what they really always knew they would, except infinitely worse. Familiar stuff, but handled well enough so that few who begin will want to stray.
From the Publisher
Blockbuster Praise for Black Storm

"A must-read¿not since James Jones' Thin Red Line have readers experienced the gripping fear of what it's like to fight an enemy at close quarters¿Poyer's research is impeccable, his characterization compelling, and the Iraqi Desert Storm scenario all too believable."—John J. Gobbell, author of When Duty Whispers Low

"I've been a David Poyer fan for over a decade, and his storytelling abilities-always first-rate-just got better and better. Black Storm is a timely, gripping, compelling yarn told by a master."—Ralph Peters, author of Beyond Terror and The War in 2020

"Absolutely riveting. David Poyer has captured the essence of what it is like on long-range patrols. His book is distinguished by quick action and continuing suspense that will keep the reader on edge until the very end."—Maj. Gen. H. W. Jenkins, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), Commander of the Marine Amphibious Forces in the Gulf War

"One of the strongest books in an outstanding series¿.The remarkably vivid portraits he draws of the variety of men and women drawn to serve their country merit high praise."—Booklist

"One of the best—action fans will be rewarded."—Publishers Weekly

"Poyer's close attention to military practice and jargon will—suit those looking for accurate detail."—Newport News Press

"A thrilling and suspenseful fictional piece—you won't be able to put the book down."—Roanoke Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429955164
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Dan Lenson Series , #7
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 113,210
  • File size: 428 KB

Meet the Author

Captain David Poyer's military career included service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, Caribbean, Persian Gulf area, and Pacific. Black Storm is the seventh novel in his continuing cycle of the modern Navy and Marine Corps, following The Med, The Gulf, The Circle, The Passage, Tomahawk, and China Sea. He lives with his wife and daughter on Virginia's eastern shore.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

U.S. Naval Shipyard,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

THE 727 shuddered, bucking turbulent air as it passed over the rain-lashed Delaware. Lt. Comdr. Daniel V. Lenson looked down at the moored shoals of heavy cruisers, auxiliaries, destroyers. The mothball fleet, ships the Navy didn't need now but thought it might someday. He was in civvies, slacks and a windbreaker; with sandy hair and gray eyes that were starting to gather sun wrinkles at the corners.

    "There's the old Des Moines," said Comdr. Greg Munro, leaning to peer past him. "Started my career on her, when I was a seaman deuce."

    "Can we see Gaddis from here?" Lenson said.

    "Should be over to the right—no, forget it; we're coming in for the approach."

    Munro was the chief staff officer of Destroyer Squadron Twelve. It was Munro who'd called him at his stash billet in Norfolk the week before and asked if he was Dan Lenson, surface line officer, executive officer experience in frigates, coming in the zone for commander?

    Dan had said, "Yeah, that's me. Why?"

    "Just out of curiosity, ever serve on a 1052?"

    "I was on Bowen my second tour. Why?"

    "Got any objection to taking one over on short notice?"

    "You putting me on? Who is this, anyway?"

    Munro had identified himself then and assured Dan it wasn't a joke; they needed a short-fuze relief for the skipper of Oliver C. Gaddis. He advised Danto say yes fast, before someone else heard about it. Gaddis was home-ported in Staten Island but had had a boiler explosion at sea and was limping into Philly for repairs. "I'll be sketchy on this, but the commodore's been thinking of slotting another player in there for a while now. It didn't seem urgent, because of the circumstances of the command. But this latest ... we called over to see who SURFLANT had in pocket. They said your board was coming up; if you had command time it'd help you out."

    "Well, I'm sure it would," Dan had said. "Uh, sir, what do you mean, `the circumstances of the command'?"

    "You're what, a senior 0-4? With this in your jacket you'll be a shoo-in."

    "I wouldn't be too sure about that." Dan had a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. He also had a Navy-Marine Corps Lifesaving Medal for keeping his men together and alive through two days in the water after his ship had hit a mine in the Gulf. But along with them, his jacket held a letter of reprimand, a midtour relief, and more than one equivocal fitness report.

    So at last he'd told the voice on the phone sure, he'd give it a shot. And now they were descending into Philadelphia International, past blasted-looking marsh and refinery towers bleeding a sulfurous pus into the sky, and the FASTEN SEAT BELTS light came on and the announcing system warned them to stay in their seats, to be prepared for rough air on the approach to their final destination.

MUNRO had been quiet on the plane, but in the taxi he cleared his throat. "OK, time for the details. Why you're here, what we expect you to do."

    "Shoot." Dan concentrated, determined not to miss a word.

    "The commodore has lost confidence, as the saying goes, in Dick Ottero's ability to command. I'm not going to cite you chapter and verse. It's enough to say he's been counseled before."

    An unpleasant thought occurred to Dan. "He knows he's being relieved today, right?"

    "I called him last night. Enough about him; let's talk about the ship. You know we're ramping down the frigate force, right?"

    "Yeah, now we don't have to worry about convoying the Army to Europe against submarine attack."

    "Exactly. So Gaddis is being disposed of as excess, transferred overseas under the Foreign Military Assistance Program."

    Dan's dreams suddenly froze, like buggy software. As the screen faded, he muttered, "Oh. Uh ... when? Who's it going to?"

    "Here's how it works. Once the Navy decides we don't need a ship, the CNO decides if he wants to offer it as a foreign military sale asset. That's handled out of something called NAVOTTSA—Navy Office of Technology Transfer and Security Assistance. I won't bore you with the process, but it ends up with the gaining country signing what's called a Letter of Offer and Acceptance." Munro pulled a fat envelope out of his briefcase. "Your copy, plus the Security Assistance Manual, the Joint Security Assistance Training Regulation, and the Hot Ship Turnover Training briefing. She'll be first of five frigates we're turning over to the Pakistanis."

    The taxi's tires droned. Looking out, Dan saw they were lifting on a long bridge. Past a cage of green girders the Schuylkill twisted like a strangling snake beneath a rainy sky. The pointed towers of downtown Philly pricked the clouds. Then across a brown waste of marsh he caught the gray island of a carrier, stacks and masts and the slab hulls of oilers and tenders.

    "When's it happen? The transfer?"

    "I'm getting to that. This is what they call a `hot turnover'—where the original crew ramps down simultaneous as the foreign crew ramps up. There's a total twelve-week turnover period. Gaddis was in week twelve when they blew one-alfa boiler—"

    "How'd they blow a boiler?"

    "One of the snipes, showing off. They were under way doing their engineering casualty control exercises, and in the course of that they go to put fire back in one of the boilers. They'd pulled fires in it, so it's still warm, and one of the chiefs says, `Hey, we don't use those goddamn books. Here's how we do it in the real Navy.' So he lit it off the back wall. Know what I'm talking about?"

    "Usually it works. Unless you don't purge before you relight."

    "Exactly what happened, and he hits it with a shot of fuel and kaboom."

    Dan said cautiously, "Not necessarily the skipper's fault."

    "Wait'll you get there; you'll see why we decided to clean house starting at the top. Now, normally the way this would work is the commodore would fly down, relieve Ottero, and leave the exec in charge till the Pakis get under way. But the commodore's in Rosey Roads doing an exercise, and Lieutenant Commander Juskoviac's really not command-qualified. So I'll get you pointed in the right direction. The ship transfer officer'll help if any roaches jump out of the process."

    Dan sat back. The closer he got, the less attractive it looked. A careless fireroom gang, a relieved skipper, an exec who'd have been acting CO—commanding officer—if not for him. Still, it was better than pushing paper in Norfolk.

    A lofty ironwork gate. "Here's the yard," said the driver.

    "Pier six. Straight down toward the river." As Munro flashed his ID for the gate cop, Dan caught sight of a straggling line of what he at first took for strikers. Then he saw the signs, U.S. HANDS OFF IRAQ. PRAY FOR PEACE. He lifted his hand in a wave, searching their faces, drawing a quizzical glance from Munro. Then the cab was moving again, past the marchers into the bustle and grime of the yard.

* * *

THEY passed 1870s-era brick barracks, a parade ground, then slowed, bumping over patched asphalt along barbed-wire-lined alleys into the steamwreathed heart of the shipyard. A line of destroyers lay derelict and listing, rusting in the rain. Stone dry docks cratered the wet-glistening earth. Out of one loomed a mountainous hull, clifflike sponsons. USS Constellation, CV-64.

    "Pier Six," said Munro at last. The concrete shelf extended a quartermile out into the Delaware, into mist and river fog. "We better walk from here."

    She took shape slowly from the inchoate gray, as if she were steaming toward them over the gray-green river. He'd always considered the Knox-class frigates graceful-looking ships. About the same displacement as the Gearings he'd started his career on, but roomier and more modern, with aluminum superstructures and low-maintenance design. Strange to think they were already passing out of the Fleet, outmoded less by time than by the changing realities of world politics.

    He shook off the depression that thought gave him. The high Atlantic bow faced him as he stepped carefully across the grease-caked rails the pier cranes rode on. It was topped by the rounded housing of a five-inch gun. Behind the ASROC (antisubmarine rocket) launcher rose the sheer front of the bridge. Above towered a gray cone topped with a drumlike structure, a combined mast and stack unmistakable from miles away at sea. Then he saw something he didn't expect.

    "What's that on the fantail? And the boat deck?"

    "The Pak Navy wanted more firepower. So we went rooting around and came up with some old forty-millimeters. We put twins on the boat decks and a quad mount on the stern. They're getting twenties, too, but they're not installed yet."

    A chunky blond in steel-toes and wash khakis loped down the brow. Munro introduced Lt. Comdr. Evilia Beard, the ship transfer officer. Dan followed her and Munro aboard, aware as he faced the flag and then the OOD that every man on the quarterdeck was watching them with outright hostility.

THE outgoing CO's lips were crimped like the edges of a metal can. His eyes were reddened and glossy behind plastic-framed lenses. As they shook hands outside the captain's cabin, Dan understood the squadron commander's decision to relieve him. 0900, and Richard Ottero's breath was bourbon-ripe. Dan had noticed other symptoms of a carelessly run ship on the climb up from the quarterdeck: a holstered pistol hanging unattended, paint on gaskets and knife edges, out-of-date inspection labels, trash in the passageways.

    "Sorry we had to meet this way," Dan told him.

    "Don't take it personally if I don't say welcome aboard," Ottero said. He turned to Munro. "Let's make it short and sweet."

    "OK by me. Dan?"


    Ottero's hand trembled as he made sure his uniform pockets were buttoned. He faced the ship's exec, a thin lieutenant commander with a long head like a greyhound's, fine light brown hair receding in front. "Greg, how do I look?"

    "Good, Skipper. For a guy about to get the shaft."

    Ottero told Dan, "You can have the damn job and to hell with you. But take care of her. I know she doesn't look so hot right now, but I've been undermanned since day one. She's a good ship. Too good to be giving away."

    Dan felt like he was watching something he didn't want to see. Alcohol and humiliation. He remembered. He said, "I'll keep that in mind. Captain."

    "By the way, where's Khashar?" interrupted Munro. The exec said the Pakistani CO and the incoming crew were on the berthing barge. He hadn't seen any reason for them to—

    Ottero interrupted, "Right. OK, get 'em mustered on the flight deck, Greg. Give me a ring when they're ready." To Dan he said, with what seemed a touch of irony, "Care for a drink?"

    "No thanks. I had to quit, myself."

    They stood silently for a few minutes. Then the phone squealed, and Dan and Munro followed Ottero aft.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011

    No Good G.I.

    This book started off like a P-51 on the deck and ended up a snail going across your driveway. I put the book down by the 90th page. The author started of great but it just ran out of excitement and interest. If you have ever been flying and strapped on the floor of a Huey or Black hawk he did a great job describing it. When it came to the prep for the mission in dragged on and on. If your going to spend that much time on the prep at least make it interesting not redundant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Action Packed Read

    Black Storm kept me compelled from start to finish. It really takes you into the heart of the Gulf War and provides an inside look at what went on over there. It was action packed, fast paced and well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2004

    Good Book but not his best

    Black Storm's action parts were very good but it would have been better if there were more of them.I certainly liked this book but I think he could have done better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    Best Review

    This book was one of the best well written books yet. It had a great storyline. This book had the most realistic battles. It felt like you were right there watching the whole thing. Black Storm is about an elite special OPs team that has to go straight into the heart of Baghdad. Saddam has threatened Israel that he'll launch his most deadly weapon yet. This weapon is a missile that is loaded with the smallpox disease. They have to stop him before he launches it. I do suggest this book to older audiences due to language and you have to beable to comprehend a lot of different facts. Braxton

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2003

    A Great Military Thriller

    David Poyer's 'Black Storm' is a good military thriller. Throughout the book David Poyer uses details that made me feel like you are right there with the troops. He shows he has a high military intelligence and really gave me and idea of what Desert Storm was like on the front lines. The story itself is a great one. There was great suspense throughout the book as I waited and waited to see what 'the deterent' was. The story showed the great courage of the armed forces, and really made me appreciate what they do even more. The only downside of the book was the beginning it started off kind of slow and some chapters tended to drag on a little bit. Once the troops were in Iraq it really started to pick up and was great all the way to the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys military thrillers.

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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