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Posted April 29, 2013
, I am a former submarine sailor and like to read novels about the Silent Service. My favorite of all time is Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October. It should come as no surprise, then, that I jumped at the chance to read Martin Roy Hill’s submarine based book The Killing Depths.
The novel is set aboard a Los Angeles class submarine called the USS Encinitas. The boat (and yes, a submarine is called a boat), is the first fast attack submarine to be coed. A NIS agent has been airlifted to the boat to investigate the murder of one of the female crewmembers - originally thought to have hung herself. To add to the intrigue and suspense, the Encinitas is on a mission to stop a Chinese sub - recently sold to Iran - from ever reaching the Middle Eastern country.
While trying to find the Iranian submarine, more murders occur aboard the boat and everyone is a suspect. The investigator, Linus Schag, has a history with both the commanding officer and the executive officer, so tensions run high among them. In the escalating silent underwater search for the Iranian boat, and the efforts to stop a serial killer before he strikes again, the author weaves a suspenseful tale, and one that I enjoyed reading.
To be sure, there were some inaccuracies that submarine veterans will notice, and the idea of a serial killer stalking the crew of a submarine was a stretch. The ultimate battle between the subs was a bit contrived, but overall I liked the book and the story.
Bravo Zulu Mr. Hill!
My rating: 4 stars!!
Disclaimer: The received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Posted March 12, 2013
Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite
Posing as a JAG officer, NCSI agent Linus Schag boards a submarine to investigate the murder of a female officer, unaware that he is to meet an old enemy. USS Encinitas is ordered to hunt down an Iranian submarine carrying nuclear weapons. While on board, three more murders take place and Schag realizes he is after a serial killer. In an engagement, the Iranian submarine is sunk, but at a cost to Encinitas.
In "The Killing Depths", Martin Hill takes the reader into the exclusive world of submariners and the hide-and-seek action between two ships. I found Schag’s investigative role interesting as he tries to identify the killer. Although the action sequences are realistic enough, lack of characterization let the story down. In an expanded form, this book would have been a genuine thriller. Nevertheless, for people who like Tom Clancy, this is a worthwhile read.
Posted January 9, 2013
A gripping military thriller that’s bound for the best seller list.
Martin Roy Hill had me captivated from the very beginning of this modern locked room mystery and compelling naval thriller. Set aboard the USS Encinitas, the US Navy’s first attack submarine with a mixed-gender crew, The Killing Depths tells the tale of the hunt for a serial killer amidst the high pressure atmosphere of an ongoing submarine battle.
NCIS Special Agent and former Naval Academy cadet, Linus Schag is sent to the Encinitas after fresh evidence is uncovered about the earlier death of one of the boat’s female crew members. Originally considered a suicide, the unexpected murder investigation is just the beginning of the unpleasant surprises in store for the Encinitas’ crew who have been tasked with hunting down and destroying a former North Korean submarine that has been sold to Iran. In the tradition of the best locked room mysteries, the bodies of dead sailors continue to stack up in almost impossible circumstances, as the battle for life and death with the Iranian sub unfolds.
Hill’s writing is crisp and suspenseful, and his use of vivid descriptive prose makes for the most gripping and intense action scenes. The Killing Depths is undoubtedly one of the most authentic dual plot thrillers written in recent years, and readers could easily be mistaken for thinking they were reading a book from the likes of Tom Clancy. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this novel and highly recommend it; The Killing Depths has best seller written all over it.
Posted January 3, 2013
Review of The Killing Depths by Martin Roy Hill
This was an amazing novel for me because it impelled me to break “out of my genre box.” I don’t normally read the type of thrillers authored by say, Tom Clancy or Dale Brown, those adventures with military settings or intelligence agencies, very technological and action-packed. However, I truly enjoyed “The Killing Depths” and consider it a re-reader. The excellent way in which the author handled revelation of character; the continuing, actually escalating, murder mystery; the building tension between two old friends, former Academy classmates; coupled with the moment-by-moment terror of being encased in a submarine, in North Korean waters, tasked with destruction of a sub modified by the North Koreans and just sold to Iran-a nuclear sub-make this story a non-stop thrilling adventure. If you’re not a fan of this type of sub-genre, please give it a try anyway; you may just find you love it!
I received an e-book copy in return for my fair and impartial review.