The basis for a great thriller?

The Russian military isn’t gaining any points for cleverness with the latest fiasco, the sinking of submarine K-159. An obsolete nuclear vessel, it sank Saturday under tow to an Arctic scrapyard, according to this CNN story. The details: “the sub went down in a storm, apparently after rough seas ripped off the pontoons that had been attached to it for towing.” Um, if you were towing a submarine to an “Arctic scrapyard” wouldn’t you anticipate the possibility of rough seas? But there’s more to this story…

According to reports, only one of the crew of ten men on K-159 escaped and survived the sinking. That’s a tragic waste, a waste due to sheer stupidity on the part of the Russian Navy. Apparently not only were the pontoons incorrectly placed, but the conning tower (the “fin” on the body of a submarine) was open too. In a rough sea, being towed?

I can just imagine some smart terrorists mounting a salvage operating to cut out and steal the nuclear reactor. Seems like a perfect story line for Clive Cussler to write, and for his superhuman protagonist Dirk Pitt and the National Underwater Marine Agency (“NUMA”) to come to the rescue and save us all. Clive, are you paying attention?

I would have suggested Tom Clancy, author of the original submarine thriller, the brilliant “Hunt for Red October”, but Tom’s slipping, and his latest book, “The Teeth of the Tiger”, was a complete piece of junk, in my opinion, and not worth buying. So I am afraid that Tom and his überprotagonist Jack Ryan would just make a mess of the K-159 situation anyway…

2 comments on “The basis for a great thriller?

  1. I found Teeth of the Tiger was a terrible waste of good paper, compared to Red Rabbit and Bear and the Dragon. *sigh* I’m just hoping it’s him getting used to a whole host of new characters.

  2. And there’s a differnce between us: I didn’t think “Red Rabbit” was much better. Instead, a different type of thriller: try “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson. A very readable, very interesting and very compelling novel.

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