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Deep Black - Dark Zone
By Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice

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Deep Black - Dark Zone

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Deep Black - Dark Zone
By Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice
Wheeler Large Print - (2004)
ISBN: 1-58724-888-3
Genre: Suspense - Military Techno-Thriller

Reviewed by Herbert White - June 28, 2005

In the newest installment in Stephen Coonts' Deep Black series, written with Jim DeFelice, we are once again drawn into the shadowy world of a National Security Agency's Covert-Ops unit. Using the latest technology and military know-how these covert agents guard the world against every imaginable threat from cyber terrorist to international espionage. In this new installment of the series, Deep Black - Dark Zone the world is facing an unfathomable horror. A terrorist group, led by Mussa Duoar, has stolen a powerful nuclear warhead from the French. They are planning to explode it underwater, near the Chunnel (the underwater tunnel between France and England), in an attempt to obliterate large portions England and Western Europe - and by extensions, cause untold havoc the world over.

Tasked with the job of finding the missing warhead falls to the members of Deep Black, in particular the ex-marine sniper, Charlie Dean and the lovely spy Lia DeFrancesca. Yet before Lia can help Charlie recover the missing warhead, she must first extricate herself from her recent spy mission to North Korea, which had gone terribly wrong.

With Lia's North Korea worries resolved, the team goes into full action. While searching for the warhead, they uncover a plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower. It is only later that they learn that this is but a diversionary action to cover the terrorist's real mission, to destroy the Chunnel and cause a massive earthquake, and hopefully a tsunami, that will destroy large sections of Western Europe. From start to finish this is a fast paced, action-packed story that finds the heroes racing against the clock that is all too quickly running down.

Like most of the Deep Black books, this story is light read, being a more technology driven story than plot driven story. Also, as in the other Deep Black books, many of the gadgets and techno-babble used by the characters are unbelievable and most of the characters come across as benign stick figures with whom it is very hard to connect with. Although, Lia and Charlie's relationship is starting to develop, giving these two characters more depth. However, this is still a great book to read if you are looking for something distracting to waste a few hours on while sitting on the beach or waiting around in an airport. If you get distracted, you'll not lose the flow of the story, and I really had a lot of fun finding out how the authors were going to put all the pieces together and how the heroes were going to save the day. All in all, a diverting read.

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