Ghost Force (Admiral Arnold Morgan Series #9)by Patrick Robinson
The year is 2011.
An oil-hungry world is starving . . .
. . . and Argentina, with Russia's help, is determined to brutally wrest the petroleum-rich Falkland Islands from British hands. Enraged over this brazen act of international piracy, Great Britain dispatches a battle fleet to the islands for the second time in thirty/blockquote>
The year is 2011.
An oil-hungry world is starving . . .
. . . and Argentina, with Russia's help, is determined to brutally wrest the petroleum-rich Falkland Islands from British hands. Enraged over this brazen act of international piracy, Great Britain dispatches a battle fleet to the islands for the second time in thirty years—unaware that Viper K-157, a lethal Russian Akula-class submarine, lies in wait, stuffed to the gunwales with ship-killingtorpedoes.
America cannot sit idle as hell explodes in the South Atlantic and, under the stern eye of Admiral Arnold Morgan, the military's most powerful weapon is unleashed to hammer Argentina into submission: the U.S. Navy SEALs. The outcome of the unforeseen war that's igniting in America's backyard ultimately depends upon her awesome "ghost force” and their successful execution of two remarkable clandestine missions—while the consequences of failure may be too terrible to consider.
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By Patrick Robinson
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Patrick Robinson
All right reserved.
0830, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lt. Commander Jimmy Ramshawe, assistant to the Director of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, had both his feet and his antennae up. Lounging back in his swivel chair, shoes on the desk, he was staring at an item on the front page of the Washington Post.
TOP RUSSIAN OFFICIAL
DROPS DEAD IN WHITE HOUSE
Siberian political chief
suffers fatal heart attack
"Poor bastard," muttered the American-born but Australian-sounding Intelligence officer. "That's a hell of a way to go -- in the middle of the bloody State Dining Room, right in front of two Presidents. Still, by the look of this, he didn't have time to be embarrassed."
He read on, skimming through the brief biography that always accompanies such a death. The forty-nine-year-old Mikhallo Masorin had been a tough, uncompromising Siberian boss, a man who stood up for his people and their shattered communist dream. Here was a man who had brought real hope to this 4,350-mile-long landmass of bleak and terrible beauty, snow fields, and seven time zones -- one-third of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere.
Mikhallo was adored in Siberia. He was a politician who stood up fiercely againstMoscow, frequently reminding his Russian rulers that the oil upon which the entire economy was built was Siberian. And it was the natural property of the Siberian people. And he wanted more money for it, from Central Government. Not for himself, but for his people.
The Urals Federal District is one of the three Siberian "kingdoms" that make up the huge area. The others are the Siberian Federal District, thousands and thousands of square miles between the Yenisei River and the Lena River, and then the Russian Far East. The Urals Federal District is easily the most important because that's where most of the oil fields are located.
Mikhallo Masorin was a towering figure, standing stark upon those desolate plains of Western Siberia, the freezing place that the locals claim was "forgotten by the Creator," but beneath which lie the largest oil fields on earth.
And now Mikhallo was gone, and Jimmy Ramshawe's hackles rose a lot higher than his shoes on the desk. "Streuth," he said quietly, taking a swig of his hot black coffee. "Wouldn't be surprised if a bloody lot of people were glad he died. None of 'em Siberian."
At times like this, Lt. Commander Ramshawe's instincts of suspicion, mistrust, misgivings, and downright disbelief sprang to the fore. And a few harsh lessons issued to him by the Big Man fought their way to the front of his mind . . . whenever a major politician with a lot of enemies dies, check it out . . . never trust a goddamned Russian . . . and never believe anything is beyond them, because it's not . . . the KGB lives, trust me.
"Wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world if the old bastard calls on this one," he said, refilling his coffee cup. And he was right about that.
Three minutes later his private line rang. Jimmy always thought it betrayed an irritable, impatient tone to its modern bell when the Big Man was on the line. And he was right about that too.
"Jimmy, you read the Washington Post yet? Front page, the dead Siberian?" Arnold Morgan's tone reflected that of the telephone.
"Well, first of all, you can forget all about that heart attack crap."
"And stop calling me 'sir.' I'm retired."
"Could've fooled me, sir."
Arnold Morgan chuckled. For the past few years he had treated Jimmy Ramshawe almost like a son, not simply because the young Aussie-American was the best Intelligence officer he had ever met, but also because he both knew and liked his father, a former Australian Navy Admiral and currently a high-ranking airline official in New York.
Jimmy was engaged to the surf goddess Jane Peacock, a student and the daughter of the Australian Ambassador to Washington, and Arnold was very fond of both families. But in Jimmy he had a soul mate, a much younger man, whose creed was suspicion, thoroughness, tireless determination to investigate, always prepared to play a hunch, and a total devotion to the United States, where Jimmy had been brought up.
He might have been engaged to a goddess, but Jimmy Ramshawe believed Arnold Morgan was God. Several years ago Admiral Morgan himself had been Director of the National Security Agency, and ever since had continued to consider himself in overall command of the place.
This suited Admiral George Morris, the current Director, extremely well, because there was no better advice available than that of Admiral Morgan. And the system suited everyone extremely well: the ex-Carrier Battle Group Commander George Morris, because Arnold's input made him look even smarter, and Jimmy because he trusted Arnold's instincts better than he trusted his own.
When Admiral Morgan called the NSA, Fort Meade trembled. His growl echoed through Crypto City, as the Military Intelligence hub was called. And, essentially, that was the way Arnold liked it.
"Jimmy, I was at the banquet, standing only about ten feet from the Siberian when he hit the deck. He went down like he'd been shot, which he plainly hadn't. But I watched him die, rolling back and forth, fighting for breath, just like his lungs had quit on him. Wasn't like any heart attack I ever saw . . ."
"How many you seen?"
"Shut up, Jimmy. You sound like Kathy. And listen . . . I want you very quietly to find out where the goddamned body is, where it's going, and whether there's going to be an autopsy."
"Never mind 'then what.' Just take step one, and call me back." Slam. Down phone.
"Glad to notice the old bastard's mellowing," muttered Jimmy. "Still, Kathy says that's how he's talked to at least two Presidents. So I guess I can't complain." He picked up his other phone line and told the operator to connect him to Bill Fogarty down at FBI headquarters. Three minutes later the top Washington field agent was on the case, and twenty minutes after that Bill was back with news of the fate of the corpse of Mikhallo Masorin.
Excerpted from Ghost Force by Patrick Robinson Copyright © 2006 by Patrick Robinson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Patrick Robinson is the author of seven international bestselling suspense thrillers, including Nimitz Class and Hunter Killer, as well as several nonfiction bestsellers. He divides his time between Ireland and Cape Cod.
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Not a perfect book but a good read. All facts not perfect but that is fiction. Kept my interest all the way through. I enjoyed it for a pure fiction based on some fact. I would recommend it for an enjoyable couple of days reading.
As usual Patrick Robinson has done it again. If you liked the first Admiral Morgan series you will like this one.
OK read, but should be moved from the category 'Fiction' to 'Fantasy'. The Admiral Morgan character does not exist, either in military annals or current military command, and will never exist in the future. I flew in the RCAF for years and never came across any commander who acted or spoke like Morgan. Robinson needs to ease up on the bs pedal when characterizing Morgan. As for plot supidity, try this on. The SEALS blow a couple of aircraft on East Falkland. Then they attack the Argentinian air base at Rio Grande. They plant 4 hour delayed C-4 charges on some of the aircraft but are spotted by Security. The air base commander knows what happened in the Falklands but does not order an immediate inspection of all of his aircraft. Twelve are destroyed. I know a few Argentinians and they are not stupid. And, by the way, the reason they were spotted is that the air base landing lights came on to accomodate a second landing Hercules as they were making their escape. Earlier however, as they were planting explosives, an Argentinian Hercules turned on to final and the field lights came on. The hero SEAL commander did not have the intelligence to understand that, if it happened once, it would happen again?
Not a terrible read - as long as you ignore the cardboard characters and the lazy writing. There are a huge number of historical and factual errors that Mr. Robinson could easily have corrected with a couple of hours on the Internet. Example: it is widely noted that Georgi Markov, the assassinated Bulgarian dissident, was killed with ricin, not curare. Example, the A-4M Skyhawk was built by McDonnel-Douglas, not Lockheed and if the Fuerza Aerea Argentina was still using them for the conflict in this book, they'd be nigh onto 50 years old. And so on and so on. What rankles isn't an occasional error, but the author's apparent assumption that none of his readers care...so there are many errors. This like won't hurt his sales, but whatever happened to good old-fashioned fact-checking? (I know, the publishers can't afford to do that any more.) Occasional typographical errors don't help much either.
SEALS - SAS - SBS would have used night vision devices . Flashlights would never be used, especially during a night op. A4's are a single engine attack aircraft, not twin engine as described in the assault. Numerous other mistakes relating to military operations.
In 2011, at a White House reception Siberian Chief Minister Masorin dies from poisoning at the same time that Russian Prime Minister Kravchenko is building up his Navy and dispatching the new subs around the globe as if the twentieth century Cold War was hot. The military activity and the assassination concern US President Bedford though he hopes it is internal to somehow protect the flow of oil from Siberia to the new deepwater tank terminal in Murmansk before coming to America. Bedford knows the Chinese are the wild card in the Siberian oil sales as their thirst for black gold is immense. --- The Russians send their top submarine Viper 157 armed to the teeth to assist the Argentineans in their attempt to wrest control of the now oil producing Falkland Islands. Argentina makes its grab and the British Royal Navy reacts, but this time unlike the short war three decades ago the Viper 157 is poised to wipe out the British fleet. US Navy Admiral Arnold Morgan and his SEALS mount rescue missions and assist the British who are on the verge of losing control of the Falklands and its oil supply. --- Conspiracy buffs will appreciate Patrick Robinson¿s tense thriller though they will need an inordinate amount of acceptance as much of the adrenalin rush is pumped from improbable scenarios that are never made to seem remotely authentic. Still the action is non-stop and vivid for instance when the SEALS enter the frozen waters off the Falklands, readers will feel just how cold it is due to the stunning descriptions. Mr. Robinson¿s fans will enjoy his latest action-packed tale that appears to defy plausibility yet is fun to read. --- Harriet Klausner