Cover image for H.M.S. Unseen
Title:
H.M.S. Unseen
Author:
Robinson, Patrick, 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
viii, 440 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060193157
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

It's the deadliest ship in the world.
You cannot see it.
You cannot hear it.
And it's just fallen into enemy hands.

Patrick Robinson became an instant hit with his widely acclaimed New York Times bestseller Nimitz Class and then did it again with his second gripping novel Kilo Class. Now this nationally bestselling author returns with his most suspenseful naval technothriller yet--a tense, unpredictable adventure that rivals the best of Tom Clancy and Dale Brown.

The most highly efficient and lethal underwater ship ever built--even better than the Russian Kilo Class, and nearly impossible to detect--the 2,500-ton H.M.S. Unseen is one of only four diesel-electric submarines ever owned by the Royal Navy. While out on a training mission off the coast of England, the unthinkable happens: The ship vanishes into the depths, baffling British and American military intelligence, including wily National Security Adviser Admiral Arnold Morgan.

"Submarines are very, very dangerous and very, very sneaky. You just don't want 'em wandering around on the loose when no one knows where they are. You have to keep an eye on them. If there's one thing that makes me real nervous, it's a submarine that's somehow gone off the charts."

One year later, Morgan's foreboding is about to be proven deadly.

On a routine flight, the Concorde, the world's safest and most secure domestic plane, disappears without a trace over the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. A few months later the brand new Starstriker jet, a miracle in American aeronautic technology and supersonic travel, vanishes. Both appear to be random, inexplicable accidents, until another plane--Air Force Three, carrying the vice president of the United States--is blown from the sky.

Searching for answers, the brilliant, irascible Morgan devises a chilling theory. Not only is Unseen still out there, but it's been modified to become the most dangerous anti-aircraft weapon at sea. And the admiral is convinced that only one man could have masterminded it: The world's most cunning--and reportedly dead--terrorist spy, Iraqi's Commander Benjamin Adnam, the incomparable operative who hired a nuclear sub and destroyed the carrier U.S.S. Thomas Jefferson a few years before.

Determined to stop his old nemesis before he strikes again, Morgan must use all his wits to find Adnam and the rogue sub hiding somewhere in a million square miles of dark ocean water, a mission the admiral knows is about as easy finding a needle in a desert--blind. But what Morgan doesn't know is that the fanatically religious military terrorist has a chilling agenda of his own--a plan that will bring these two intense warriors face to face.and only one will come out alive.

A breathtaking tale that races from the shifting sands of the Middle East to deep within the black waters of the North Atlantic; from the Oval Office to the bowels of one of the most powerful warships ever built; H.M.S. Unseen will keep readers guessing as they race to discover its powerful, stunning conclusion.


Author Notes

Patrick Robinson was a journalist for many years before becoming a full-time writer of books. His non-fiction books were bestsellers around the world and he was the co-author of Sandy Woodward's Falklands War memoir, One Hundred Days.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The third near-future naval techno-thriller from Robinson (Kilo Class; Nimitz Class) breaks neatly into two stories. The first is about a hijacked sub and its brief but effective reign of terror against American and European aircraft. Iraqi terrorist Benjamin Adnam, escaping death at the hands of his countrymen, travels to Iran and offers his services to the reigning Ayatollah, with plans for a twisted revenge. He will hijack a British submarine that is about to be sold to Brazil, fit it with a missile launcher and attack American aircraft in such a way that Iraq, not Iran, will be blamed. When the British sub vanishes, and even before three planes are shot out of the sky (including one carrying the American vice president), Adnam's American nemesis, Admiral Arnold Morgan, discerns the terrorist's hand behind events. But no manhunt follows, as Robinson instead focuses on Adnam's inner turmoil and his fate as a traitor who's been rejected by his mother country and discarded by his surrogate home. Robinson uses this departure from formulaic plotting to deepen Adnam's character, from cold super-terrorist to lost and searching human being, meanwhile allowing Adnam's yearnings to spark a few final plot twists. The energy of the opening half flags in the novel's later part, however. Robinson is visibly developing as a writer, but he's not yet able to make the inner struggles of one man as exciting as the shooting down of a Concorde jet by a sub. Still, his willingness to challenge the rigid boundaries of the military thriller is welcome, particularly as his writing stays always on its toes. Simultaneous HarperAudio; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

H.M.S. Unseen Chapter One May 26, 2004 The light was fading along Haifa Street, and it was almost impossible to spot any Westerners in that seething, poor section of Baghdad. Men in djellabas, long loose shirts, occupied much of the dirty sidewalks, sitting cross-legged, smoking water pipes, selling small items of jewelry and copper. On one side of the main thoroughfare, dark narrow streets ran off toward the slow-flowing Tigris River. Tiny car workshops were somehow crammed along there between the cramped decaying houses. The stifling smell of oil and axle grease mingled with the dark aromas of thick, black, sweet coffee, incense, charcoal fires, cinnamon, sandalwood, and baking bread. Not many children wore shoes, and the dress was Arab. He should have stood out a mile, wearing a smoothly cut, grey Western suit, as he hurried out from the inner canyon of a green-painted garage. The club tie should have given him away; certainly the highly polished shoes. But he turned around as he walked out, and he embraced the elderly, oil-coated mechanic with warmth and affection. And he stared hard into the man's eyes-an unmistakable Arab gesture, the gesture of a Bedouin. No doubt, the man was an Arab, and he caused few heads to turn as he headed back west toward Haifa Street, cramming a length of electrical wire into his pocket. He seemed at home there in that crowded, sprawling market, striding past the fruit and vegetable stalls, nodding at the occasional purveyor of spices or the seller of rugs. He held his head high, and the dark, trimmed beard gave him the facial look of an ancient caliph. His name was obscure, foreign-sounding to an Arab. They called him Eilat. But, in the circles that knew his trade, he was formally referred to as Eilat One. He made just one more stop, at a dingy hardware store 40 yards before the left turn onto the Ahrar Bridge. When he emerged ten minutes later, he was carrying a white box with a lightbulb pictured on the outside, and a roll of heavy duty, wide, grey plastic tape, the regular kind that holds United Parcel packages together all over the world. Eilat kept walking fast, sometimes straying off the sidewalk to avoid stragglers. He was thickset in build, no more than five feet ten inches tall. He crossed the bridge into the Rusafah side of Baghdad and made his way up Rashid Street. In his left jacket pocket there was a small leather box containing Iraq's national Medal of Honor, which had been presented to him personally that morning by the somewhat erratic President of the country. The coveted medal counted, he feared, for little. There had been something in the manner of the President that he had found disturbing. They did not know each other well, but there had been an uneasy distance between them. The President was known for his almost ecstatic greetings to those who had served him faithfully, but there had been no such display of emotion that morning. Eilat One had been greeted as a stranger and had left as a stranger. He had been escorted in by two guards and was escorted out by the same men. The President had seemed to avoid eye contact. And now the forty-four-year-old Intelligence agent experienced the same chill that men of his calling have variously felt over the years in most countries in the world-the icy realization that no matter what their achievements, the past had gone, time had rolled forward. The spy was being sent back out into the cold. Or, put another way, the spy had gone beyond his usefulness to his master In the case of Eilat One, he might simply have become too important. And there was only one solution for that. Eilat believed they were going to hill him. He further believed they were going to kill him that same night. He guessed there was already a surveillance team watching his little house, set in a narrow alley up toward Al-Jamouri Street. He would be wary, and he would be calmly self-controlled. There could be only one possible outcome to any attempted assassination. Still walking swiftly, he reached the great wide-open expanse of Rusata Square. The streetlights were on now, but this square needed no extra illumination. A 50-foot-high portrait of the President was floodlit by more voltage than all the city streetlights put together. Eilat swung right, casting his eyes away from the searing dazzle of his leader, and he pressed on eastward toward the great adjoining Amin Square, with its mosques and cheap hotels. He walked more slowly, tucking his white box under his arm and staying to the right, hard against the buildings. The traffic was heavy, but he had no need to leave the sidewalk, and unconsciously he slipped into the soft steps of the Bedouin, moving lightly, feeling in the small of his back the handle of the long, stilettobladed tribal knife, his constant companion in times of personal threat. He followed the late shoppers into Al-Jamouri Street and slowed almost to a stop as he reached an alleyway beside a small hotel. Then he quickened again and walked straight past, with only a passing glance into the narrow walkway, with its one dim streetlight about halfway along. He saw that the alley was empty, with two cars parked at the far end. They were empty, too, unless the passengers were curled up on the floor. Eilat had excellent eyesight, and he was good at remembering pictures in his mind. He stopped completely, standing, apparently distracted, outside the hotel, looking at his watch, checking the passersby, watching for someone who hesitated, someone who might slow down and stop, just as he had done. Twenty seconds later, he moved into the alley and walked slowly toward the narrow white door that opened through a high stone wall and led across the courtyard into the Baghdad headquarters of Eilat One. H.M.S. Unseen . Copyright © by Patrick Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from H. M. S. Unseen by Patrick Robinson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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