Author: Thomas F. Monteleone
Published by: Cemetery Dance Publications 2015
Reviewed by: Emily Weil
Thomas F. Monteleone is the co-founder of Borderlands Press and has won the Bram Stoker Award four times in four different categories- novel, collection, anthology, and non-fiction. He has written more than forty books and published over 100 short stories, he has written and produced for the stage and screen as well as edited seven anthologies.
Submerged begins by alternating between the past with Eric Heinz Bruckner the captain of the German submarine the U-5001 and the retired ex-navy diver Dexter McCauley who finds the U-5001 in the present. The U-5001 was a one of kind submarine built with the explicit task of launching a small plane which they carried in a special compartment on the submarine to drop a nuclear bomb onto New York City. Before they arrived at their destination they were ordered to rescue some scientists in a secret base under an ice shelf in Greenland. Here the feel of the story changes from the dark and claustrophobic confines of the sub into a growing sense of horror when faced with what they find there. Determined that no one should ever find the secret base and the evil it holds Captain Bruckner uses the bomb that he would have dropped on New York to try and erase any trace of it. As the U-5001 approaches the United States it receives word that the war is over and Captain Bruckner puts all but two of the crew on a boat headed back to German and scuttles the submarine in 60 feet of water in the Chesapeake By where it is found by Dexter McCauley and his team of divers who call themselves the deep six, his boat the Sea Dog and it’s Captain Don Jordan. The sense of the supernatural continues to build as one of the Deep Six dies in the torpedo room of the submerged submarine.
The second half of the book starts with an explosion onboard the Sea Dog which leaves Dex and Tommy swimming for their lives to the nearest island. It also introduces the Guild, a group of mercenary arm dealers who supply arms and money to kings and emperors who want the nuclear payload from the U-5001 and the location of the secret German base located under the Greenland ice. The second half of the book slows down a little but not enough to stop reading and you are soon rewarded with the revelation that Captain Bruckner is still alive and that the guild is looking for him. The race is on to get him to safety but the guild is resourceful and takes Bruckner and Tommy hostage to get the bomb from under the Greenland ice but Captain Bruckner I determined to finish what he started with that bomb so many years before and with Tommy’s help accomplishes just that.
The book ends with the hint of a sequel as Dexter McCauley is given the chance to take an expedition to the Greenland shelf and try and find out what if anything is left behind and maybe get some closure. While I found the book to be more of a military thriller than true horror it was fast paced and entertaining it leaves the door open for a sequel to follow up with base and any horrors it might reveal.
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