Publisher: St Martin’s Press (Hardcover Format – 19 March 2019)
Series: Trident Deception
Length: 320 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The world is once again heading towards war in the latest military thriller from Rick Campbell that sets the United States against Russia in a battle for domination.
After Russia’s last attempt to take control of the countries on their western border ended in disaster, the Russian military is eager for another invasion that will restore Russia’s place as a superpower. However, even with America’s forces weakened after recent conflicts, Russian President Yuri Kalinin is reluctant to challenge NATO again. His generals have no such reservations and initiate a sudden military coup, arresting Kalinin and taking Russia to a war footing.
America is once again ready to oppose Russia’s advance into Europe, until a routine weapons test sends several ballistic missiles hurtling towards Washington DC and crashes several of America’s B2 Bombers. The Russians have apparently found a way to disarm America’s nuclear arsenal and are using this to keep the US out of the latest conflict.
As several European countries are overrun, America must find a way to regain control of their weapons and push back the Russians. Their only hope may lie in the hands of Christine O’Connor, the President’s national security adviser, who was being entertained by Kalinin at his official residence when the coup occurred. After freeing Kalinin, O’Connor hatches a plan to return him to power in exchange for an end to the invasion. Can America achieve this with only one submarine and a small team of SEALs, or will NATO and Russia be forced into a destructive war for Europe?
This is the fifth book from Campbell, and it follows on his military thriller storyline that was started in his 2014 debut, The Trident Deception. Treason follows on the storyline from these previous books, and once again sees America fighting against its iconic adversaries the Russians in an intriguing story of war, espionage and treachery. I have been on a real military thriller kick recently, so I was quite excited to pick up Treason. This book is an extremely fun piece of fiction that I really enjoyed and was able to get through quite quickly. Campbell tells an entertaining story that, while connected to the storylines of the previous books in the series, is fairly inclusive and able to be enjoyed by those readers who have not had the chance to read any of Campbell’s previous works.
This is a pretty good example of military fiction, as two superpowers face off against each other for control of Europe. The story is a great combination of imaginative storytelling and real-world politics, as Campbell is able to bring in elements of current international relations into his already established fictional version of our world. This allows for some more realism behind the story, especially when combined with the sheer amount of military detail Campbell injects into the story, showcasing how both sides would prepare for and enact the early stages of a war to control all of Europe. Treason is told from a huge range of different character perspectives as the author attempts to show as many sides of the story as possible. While this does result in the book having a somewhat distractingly high number of quite short chapters, it does allow for a much fuller story, especially as it shows the plans of the book’s Russian antagonists. This also allows for a story that is slightly less “America good; all opponents evil” direction that many military thrillers turn into, as the Russian characters’ motivations and perspectives are taken into account, although America does come out of this book looking pretty good. Still, this is a very intriguing military thriller book, and I quite enjoyed reading Campbell’s view of how war between the US and Russia could potentially start up, while also leaving room for additional conflicts in future books.
While Treason does not turn into the full-on total war story action junkies might be hoping for, there is a substantial amount of battles and fighting in this book. A large amount of the action is between covert squads of Americans and Russians, and it always fun to see SEAL teams kick ass against more numerous opponents. Without a doubt, the most impressive sequence in this book is the superb submarine fight between opposing US and Russia vessels. These scenes are pretty epic, and they really highlight the author’s writing ability as he drags the reader into the battle. His quick change of perspectives between the opposing submarines means that the reader is aware of every action being undertaken and they get a spectacular view of the intense battle occurring beneath the waves. Campbell’s past as a commander aboard a US Navy submarine clearly comes into play here, as he describes all the aspects of submarine combat in extreme detail. This results in the reader getting an outstanding idea of the various tactics and weapons both sides utilise in these incredible battles, and it was amazing how the fight between submarines felt like a game of chess. These extended submarine battles are easily the best sequences in the whole book, and I really loved reading them. This book is perfect for those readers who love to read a good action sequence, and I am looking forward to reading any additional submarine battle scenes that Campbell comes up with.
Overall, Treason is a fantastic military thriller and well worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre or of Campbell’s previous books. I am intrigued to see how the author will continue this series in the future, and I especially hope to see more of the superb submarine-on-submarine combat sequences. Treason is a very entertaining and enjoyable book and is perfect for those who are looking for something fun and exciting to read.