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Deep Black
By Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice

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Deep Black

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Deep Black
By Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice
Wheeler Publishing. Large Print Edition, 2003
ISBN: 1-58724-526-4
Genre: Suspense - Military Techno-Thriller

Reviewed by Herbert White - December 22, 2003

Deep Black is a hair-raising, heart-pounding book that is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Stephen Coonts and Jim DeFelice. The plot of this story evolves from a single incident in which a U.S. spy plane is downed while spying on Russia. To find out how it was downed, and who did it, the National Security Agency tasks its covert special-Ops Deep Black team to find out what happened.

To this end, Deep Black team member Charlie Dean, an ex-Marine, is sent to Russia to commence the investigation - from the inside. Helping him is Lia DeFrancesca, an ex-Delta Force member who is as beautiful as she is deadly. Together they must try to discover the truth, before 'things' get so out of control that World War III starts. To make matter worse, once 'in country' they uncover not only a plot to overthrow the Russian government, but also that one of the men from the American plane is still alive. He knows a secret that could give the 'enemy' the upper-hand in their quest for world domination. So, added onto to their task of discovering what happened to the plane, Dean and DeFrancesca must try to rescue the downed American before he, and his secret, fall into the wrong hands.

Deep Black has something for every techno-thriller fan from submarine chases and computer viruses to international espionage and the odd mercenary. It is crammed full of technical and military details, and it is acronym rich. I happen to enjoy reading thrillers with a high level of technical and military craft specificity, and this book more than meets my need for details. If you're not into such details as the differences between a Mi-24W Hind E helicopter and an American Cobra helicopter, you might find this book a bit ponderous - despite the outstanding story that these facts embellish. But for techno-geeks like me, its pure honey!

Deep Black takes readers on a fast-paced roller-coaster adventure ride filled with one disaster scenario after another. While neither Dean nor DeFrancesca is as enlivened as Jake Grafton, nor is the story as tightly plotted as the Grafton books, this is still a fun and thrilling book to read. It is perfect for reading while whiling away time in an airport or on a lazy day when you have nothing overly pressing to do and want some light reading to pass the time with.

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