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Authors: P. T. Deutermann


BOOK: Darkside
10.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


“A dead-on sense of place and appealing characters in tight corners…satisfying.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Deutermann has now published seven pounding-pulsers. For this book, he was back at Dahlgren and Mahan, updating his reef points.”

—Baltimore Sun


“[An] explosive tour de force…the author exceeds his near-perfect
Train Man
with this ripped-from-the-headlines plot pitting a middle-aged Rambo with a small but deadly arsenal of spy gadgets against spine-chilling villains, corrupt agency brass and powerful political forces. Deutermann never sounds a wrong note in this non-stop page-turner.”

—Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“The tale is loaded with political and bureaucratic skullduggery, and there are plenty of well-banked curves and clever twists. A solid read from an author whose own tradecraft is every bit as good as that of his characters.”


“You think you have read this before. Trust me. You haven't. And you should…a great read.”

(Greensburg, PA)

“One of the lasting conventions in thriller-writing involves putting the hero in a situation where the reader is forced to ask, ‘How can he possibly get out of that?'…Deutermann…exploits that convention to the hilt in
Hunting Season

—Houston Chronicle

“Enough techno and black ops to satisfy Clancy fans, enough double-dealing, back-pedaling internecine treachery to keep Carre fans reading, and enough plot turns and suspense to keep Crichton and Higgins Clark devotees guessing.”

—The Florida Times-Union

“Deutermann's previous novel,
Train Man
, was a marvelous, bang-up action novel…in
Hunting Season
he equals the thrills…Deutermann writes with authority and inventiveness. Add in top-secret gizmos, heroes meaner than villains…and you've got one of the best by one of the best at what he does.”

[Macon, GA]

“Deutermann has sold three novels to Hollywood already. They're blind if they pass on this one.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“Deutermann delivers his most accomplished thriller yet. Intelligent, expertly detailed and highly suspenseful.”

—Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Another solid performance from Deutermann, this time about a train-hating, vengeance-hungry madman and the FBI agents seeking to derail him. Quality entertainment: the details convince, the people are real, the plot twists legitimate.”

—Kirkus Reviews


Zero Option
delivers…[Deutermann] keeps his story moving briskly.”


“Exciting, moving…a top-notch topical thriller.”

—Publishers Weekly

“[Deutermann] returns in top form with this gripping tale…intensely plausible entertainment.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“An explosive drama…Deutermann fans like myself will be thrilled to see that he keeps getting better.”

—Nelson DeMille

“Deutermann's inside knowledge of the Navy and Pentagon politics, coupled with his likeable protagonists, make this a gripping new addition to his line of naval mysteries.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A fine page-turner.”

—Library Journal


“A tight story line…An attractive combination of murder mystery and naval politics.”

—The New York Times Book Review

“P.T. Deutermann has become one of our best thriller writers…A keenly entertaining, fascinating mystery.”


“Superb plotting and characterization are here, as is suspense and a clear awareness of the dangers and dalliances that can thrive in official Washington…
Official Privilege
is more than just a whodunit and a Navy story; it is a suspenseful indictment of power politics.”

—Florida Times-Union


“One heck of an exciting voyage…P.T. Deutermann ships a reader onto the bridge in that special place—where men go down to the sea in ships. He adds a first-rate suspense novel as bargain.”

—Tampa Tribune and Times

The Edge of Honor
is the rare book that addresses the complexities of war at the front and also at home. The author captures the Vietnam period and its confusion perfectly. Particularly interesting—and horrifying—is the culture depicted on the Hood, a real-life ship around which the novel is set.”

—The Baltimore Sun

The Edge of Honor…
is headed up the bestseller list.”

—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Utterly convincing…Unlike many technothriller writers, he has as good a grasp of what makes people tick as of what makes a modern warship function. Deutermann's clear mission is to picture Navy life in a depth we have not seen before, and he succeeds brilliantly. His craftsmanship is amazing.”

—The San Diego Union-Tribune


Hunting Season

Train Man

Zero Option


Official Privilege

The Edge of Honor

Scorpion in the Sea

P. T. Deutermann

This book is dedicated to the Brigade of Midshipmen at Annapolis, who inevitably rise to the standard of personal and professional ethics set for them by the example of their superior officers.


It's been almost forty years since I graduated from the Naval Academy, so I needed a lot of help to get abreast of the many institutional changes. My special thanks to Pamela Warnken, formerly of the Academy's public information office, for fielding countless E-mails and getting me to the right people for answers. My thanks also to the superintendent at the time of my research, Vice Admiral John Ryan, USN, for arranging my initial tour of the contemporary facilities. The academy hosts 1.5 million guests each year, and I certainly appreciated the degree of access extended to me in preparation for this story. Thanks to Don Schwartz for expert advice on firearms, and to “Doc” Bellows of Schurr Sails for help with yachting details. I also received a great deal of useful insight from both academic faculty members and officers of the Academy's executive department. They might not recognize what they told me once they read the book, but, as always, I pick and choose what I need to best enhance the story. Any resulting errors in Academy procedure or organization are, happily for them, all mine.


He floated at the top of the dive for what seemed like forever. Perfect takeoff, his legs delivering just exactly the right amount of spring, his arms balanced level with his chest and slightly behind, fingers webbed together, hands slightly cupped, eyes wide open, grinning nemesis back on the ledge, helpless to hurt him anymore. For what seemed an eternity, he hung suspended, and then, instinctively, as gravity beckoned, he tucked, arcing down through the calm morning air, his body aligning itself perfectly with the gathering slipstream, the darkened windows beginning to blur, a reflexive keening noise rising in his throat as he saw the diamond pattern of the plaza below coming into incredibly sharp focus as he held his breath and his perfectly vertical position in midair, no imbalance this time, no wobble in his legs or hips, statue-straight, rigid, accelerating, his best dive ever, the diamond pattern dissolving into individual segments of polished granite, bits of mica gleaming wonderfully clear, beckoning him to join them in their crystalline perfection, his eyes tearing from the rushing air. Time to go. Close your eyes, time to close your eyes. Inhale for the entry, your most perfect—

The ashen-faced cook was close to hyperventilating. He was sitting at the first table inside the mess hall, hands clamped down on spread knees, eyes bulging wide open, staring straight ahead, as if not wanting to see the red stains all over his whites.

“Hey, man, it's okay,” Jim Hall said. “Just take it slow. Breathe. No, slower. Deep breaths. Slower. Yeah. That's it. Take a minute. It's gonna be okay.”

The cook, a pudgy white guy in his forties, didn't respond, but he began to get his breathing under control. Jim looked at his shoes. He, too, did not want to dwell on the cook's gore-spattered uniform. He imagined he could smell it, and felt his stomach do a small flop. Finally, the cook looked up at him.

Hell it will,” he croaked. “It was like…like he was trying to fly.”

“Say what?”

“The guy? It looked like he was trying to fly. I saw him. One split second. Arms wide, like one of those high divers, you know? His eyes were closed, though. Like he knew.”

Well, no shit, Jim thought. Of course he knew. Doing a swan dive from six stories onto flagstone? Yeah, the dude probably knew.

“Young guy?” Jim asked. He'd seen the body. It was actually a reasonable question.

“Yeah, probably a plebe. I mean, like, a really young face.”

Jim nodded. He tried again to shut out the image of the wreckage out there in the plaza between the mess hall and the eighth wing. Wait till the breakfast formation gets a load of that. He felt his stomach twitch. People had no idea.

He made a couple of notes, waiting to see if the cook had anything more to add. Then he heard one of the EMTs outside call in the DOA code. Got that right, he thought. The semirigid cook now had beads of sweat all along his forehead, and his lips were turning a little blue. Jim stepped over to the double doors and called the EMTs to come over. One pushed through the doors of what was formally called King Hall, the Naval Academy's hangarlike mess hall. The cook looked like he was about to flop and twitch on them.

Jim motioned with his chin. The medic took one look and went right to work. Then a short, scowling Navy captain came through the doors and signaled that he wanted to talk to Jim. And here we go, Jim thought, closing his notebook. Here we go.

As he headed back through the doors, he wished the NCIS agents would hurry the hell up. He definitely did not want to deal with Capt. D. Telfer Robbins, the commandant of midshipmen, all by himself, no way in hell. And he really didn't want to see any more of that mess out there in the plaza.

He scanned the small crowd outside. As the Naval Academy's civilian security officer, he was nominally in charge of the scene until the Naval Criminal Investigative Service people showed up. There were the Academy's own police, a couple of Annapolis cops, and some shocked-looking naval officers. The impatient captain was waiting for him next to his official sedan, rising up and down on the balls of his feet, a cell phone in his hand and anger bright in his eyes. Jim resisted the urge to page the NCIS office again, just as the 6:30 reveille bells began to ring throughout the eight wings of Bancroft Hall. He was pretty sure he knew exactly what the commandant was going to say to him.

BOOK: Darkside
10.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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