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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Cruise by Jerry Johnson has a surefire way of involving readers by giving us a character who gets into a caper in which he is not supposed to be. Joe Green is a software engineer who runs a coding team for Intel at an Austin facility. He is no James Bond, and the only connection he has with espionage is that he is working on a classified project, which is developing a defense against cruise missile attacks. The Iranians have procured an old Russian submarine and retrofitted it with the capability of firing cruise missiles. He receives assistance from Anna Sagdeev, a Russian physicist who has an interest in defecting to the west as the oligarchs in Russia are taking control of everything. Joe needs to work double-time before the Iranian missiles reach American shores.
This is the setup of Jerry Johnson’s action thriller, Cruise. Joe Green narrates his exploits so you view the plot from his perspective. I fell in love with Anna Sagdeev's character, someone who knows what she wants—and she wants Joe. Many military action thrillers rely on a suave and spunky hero like James Bond or Jack Ryan to save the day. Joe Green is neither of the two, but he has his own qualities that shine through in the light of the predicaments that he faces which require solutions. The romantic aspect in this novel is something that enhances the storyline because the progression of Joe and Anna’s relationship hints that a love that blooms in adversity is one that is bound to last because it has been strengthened by great challenges. It is not just a meeting of the hearts but a meeting of the minds. As for the story arc, I can recommend Cruise as a skillful and efficient thriller that is very absorbing.