The strength of a Stephen Coonts novel is that he provides a thriller like Tom Clancy but not all of the techno-speak. Instead, he provides just enough to give the reader a taste but not enough to overwhelm.
The weakness of Stephen Coonts is that Jake Grafton, likable as he is, makes Star Trek's Captain Kirk look like an underachiever. Grafton is everywhere in this book (like all of them). Who needs specialists, like Navy SEALs or an expert for a rocket launch? Instead, Jake Grafton is your man. Need someone to finagle a Russian spy? He's your man. How about someone to go on a raid, find a spy, fake an attack, go undercover to capture an international super-criminal? He's your man. And then, he gets to beat up the bad guy and pretty much save the world all by himself (and his faithful sidekick Toad Tarkington) - again.
Why was it stolen? Well, I figured it out right away, but no one else does until the end of the book. The book starts out with the attempted launch of an advanced "Star Wars" type satellite. The launch fails and the satellite disappears into the Atlantic. Can you figure out why someone would want a submarine with a mini-sub now?
Anyway, America is chock full of advanced computer hackers, corrupt currency investors, mercenaries and advanced weaponry and it makes for a very readable thriller.
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on March 22, 2011.