Red Sky at Morning

Red Sky at Morning

by Paul Garrison

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380802203
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/2001
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.17(d)

About the Author

Like his grandfather, who wandered the South Seas in the last of the square-rigged trading vessels, Paul Garrison spends as much time as he can at sea working with boats, tugs, and ships. He is the author of Fire and Ice, Red Sky at Morning, Buried at Sea, and Sea Hunter.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A torpedo track streaked the moon-silvered Atlantic.

"This is so beautiful," said Rita. She was entranced by the swirling ocean surface. A heavy moon had risen ahead of the giant cruise liner. Behind them, hours after Manhattan's skyscrapers had sunk beneath the ship's snow-white wake, New York City's night glow still haloed the western sky.

The night was so lovely, so full of stars, that she and Jack kept breaking off from the dancing to run out on deck. They paused for one last look on the way "home" to their incredible cabin. Cool breaths of the sea mingled with warm shifts from the land.

"What are you staring at?"

Jack was leaning on the ship's rail gazing at his beautiful bride and thinking, Sometimes you get lucky. Just when you're sure you'll end up alone wandering Greenwich Village muttering to yourself, your boss introduces you to Rita.

You stop smoking and start running. A year later your best man toasts the luckiest guy in town. Champagne wedding breakfast at Gramercy Tavern, on Rita's boss; upgrade to honeymoon stateroom, thanks to yours. And you're sailing to Italy on the Sovereign Princess with a woman who's so proud to be with you that she hangs onto her bride's bouquet until the ship's out of range of her girlfriends waving from the pier. Then all of a sudden, in the middle of the river, she goes, "Look, they're happy, too!" and throws her flowers to some woman kissing a tugboat captain. Only in New York.

"What?" Rita asked softly.

He felt his eyes get warm. What right turn had he made, what wrong turn had he missed, that got the two of them together for that first look that made everythingelse happen? Overwhelmed by joy, embarrassed by tears, he looked down at the rushing waves.

"Jesus H!"

"What?"

"Look!"

It was racing toward the ship.

"That's a torpedo."

"Like from a submarine? It is not."

"Rita, before we met I spent a lotta nights watching World at War. That's a torpedo."

"It can't be."

It streamed close by, angling behind the ship, disappeared in the white wake, and emerged to hurry on in the distance, arcing little rooster tails of spray.

"Couldn't have been." He watched it disappear.

"Oh, here comes another one."

A second bubble track, straight at them and this time a lot closer. Jack took her hand instinctively, but it was still so unlikely that instead of backing away, he leaned over the rail to see what it really was. They never looked so fast on The History Channel. He thought this one would miss, too. But it changed course at the last second and smacked into the hull right under where they were standing.

The night exploded brilliant white. He felt something hard as a fist in his face. When he heard the thunder he was already flying through the air with the awful realization that Rita's hand had been torn from his.

"Admiral Tang!"

Sonar's urgent warning jolted every man in the submarine's cramped control room. "Small craft nine hundred yards astern, sir."

Tang Li whirled back to the periscope, alarm sweeping the triumph from his face.

Ahead, a mile across the water, he saw flame pillaring from the liner he had torpedoed. They still hadn't launched any lifeboats. Thousands of passengers were milling on the dark decks.

Tang spun a half circle to scan the moonlit sea behind the submarine. "Radar?"

"Wood or fiberglass hull," answered Shi Deng, the submarine's surface eyes. "Or I'd have picked it up on my pre-attack sweep." Shi Deng's blunt farm-boy's fingers darted like dazzled moths between knobs and keypad as he tried desperately to locate the enemy he had failed to detect.

In ordinary units of the People's Liberation Army, sailors were shot for less. In Admiral Tang's elite Submarine Expeditionary Force--his crews said with only half a smile--a bullet in the back of the head was preferred to a look of disappointment clouding the admiral's determined face. For Admiral Tang had, like some Mandarin of old, plucked only the best from the deep sea of Chinese poverty to give them proud places in his fleet.

He was a sailor's sailor, a first-rate seaman, and they loved him for it. Born to all the privileges accorded the gaogan zidi bya society obsessed with station, he was shockingly democratic, having inherited from his grandfather the Revolutionary's belief that great leaders led from the front. Thus he berthed in the submarine like the lowest machinist's mate. Thus he had personally fired a torpedo into the hapless cruise liner to draw New York's defenders out of their harbor.

It was Fleet Week in New York, the annual late-spring port call by U.S. and foreign naval vessels. Admiral Tang had fought hard to convince his cautious superiors in Beijing that the presence of so many warships would serve as a smoke screen. Churning the coastal waters, cluttering the channels, and congesting the airwaves with their radios and radar, the peaceful visitors had unknowingly camouflaged the approach of his submarines.

Red Sky at Morning. Copyright © by Paul Garrison. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this the week before 9-11. Later visiting ground zero, this book stood out! Graet reading.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Tugboat Captain Ken Hughes works the waters of New York City. He combines the intellect of an academia with the pragmatic sleaze of a wharf rat. Kate Ross is a book editor in a major publishing house who concedes she will never meet her life¿s soul mate until a blind date introduces her to Ken. However, an invasion by an advance Chinese vanguard interrupts the romance.

Admiral Tan leads a force of over one hundred submarines poised to attack the Big Apple. The zealot plans to hold America¿s largest city hostage until Taiwan is returned to its rightful place as part of the glorious People¿s Republic of China. If the United States fails to heed Admiral Tong¿s warning, he will destroy the city. A small group of freedom fighters including Kate and Ken begin the counterattack.

Paul Garrison pumps up the volume with his latest cardiac thriller, RED SKY AT MORNING. This thriller will leave the audience requiring a cool down time to normalize their pulse. The villain is a believable patriot (depending on which side of the fence you sit) who surprisingly will garner much reader empathy. The lead couple makes for a heroic duo. However, there is no question that the thrills a page plot is what makes this a winner for genre fans.

Harriet Klausner