blackmail“Blackmail” is the fourth book in Rick Campbell’s series of contemporary military thrillers. It is not necessary to have read the other books in the series, but readers who enjoy “Blackmail” will certainly want to read the previous books.

A Russian submarine encounters an American warship in the Pacific, and attacks. “We aren’t at war with the United States, but this might start one.” And so it begins.

Something has gone terribly wrong. The Russians apologize and say it was a malfunction.  We know they are lying right from the start, but why? Why did they attack and why that ship? Political and economic turmoil are spreading across Europe and even threaten the United States. Disaster looms on every side; every action has an equally unpleasant response.

The action is fast-paced, and the events are so current that they could have been pulled from today’s newspapers.  It is a political thrill ride from start to finish. The characters are complex, and the accurate, detailed descriptions put the reader right in the middle of everything.

“Blackmail” starts with a convenient list of characters to facilitate identifying the important players in each arena. In addition, each chapter begins with a notation of the location as the action shifts from ship to shore and country to country.

This is not the kind of book that I usually read, but when I saw the description, I was intrigued. Since I am not accustomed to reading books in this category, I gave it three stars, but  I am sure that readers who are more familiar with this genera will give it five stars since it kept even me on the edge of my seat. I received a copy of “Blackmail” from St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley in exchange for my truthful review. I really enjoyed reading something out of my comfort zone.