When a submarine sinks during its shakedown cruise, those aboard must face their own mortality. Seaman Noah Andrews isn’t ready to die. At age 26, he thought he’d have decades to achieve his dream of artistic success.
Trapped in the aft compartment, Noah and the other passengers huddle together in the dark and cold. While the brass work to raise the vessel, they spin stories to while away the time.
As in the Canterbury Tales, these modern voyagers reveal more about themselves with their tales than they realize. Each story plays off the one before, leads up to the one that follows, and reveals the inner workings of each soul facing its own demise.
Ashore, Commander Wolfson faces his own death. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he realizes his life is in shambles. Health gone, marriage a facade, and career now tarnished by the sinking of the USS Manhattan.
Commander Wolfson fights to raise the sub and learn why she sank. The incident was blamed on a faulty seal, but new evidence points towards sabotage.
Aboard the sub, Noah listens intently to the stories of each of his fellow travelers. He uncovers evidence that one sailor might be the enemy within. A suicide bomber, using a nuclear submarine as his delivery vessel.
Separated by three hundred vertical feet of ocean, Commander Wolfson and Noah must each do his part to rescue the ship.
I'm fascinated by submarine rescue stuff. Sometime back I recall a Russian sub went down and there were thought to be survivors. They got a rescue vessel down to the sub, but couldn't get the door open. As anyone familiar with underwater stuff knows, those guys IN the sub (if they were alive) could hear the proximity of the rescue team, all the while their oxygen is running out. Talk about agony.
I'd read this for that reason alone, but this isn't a bad hook as these things go. The conflict of course is that time is running out for these guys to survive.