Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
How appropriate that just the day after I finished reading Fatal Depth by Timothy S. Johnston, CNN reported that because of rapid glacial melt, “It’s becoming increasingly clear that sea-level rise is going to be a bigger and bigger problem as we move through the 21st century.” This alarming fact about climate warming is the concept behind Fatal Depth and Johnston’s previous two books. In these superbly written novels, Johnston takes readers into the worldwide undersea colonies man has developed because, bit by bit, living on land as we currently do is no longer possible.
In Fatal Depth, Truman McClusky, mayor of an undersea city, Trieste, and his team battle underwater with a new and unexpected enemy who has devised a "dreadnought" naval war sub never before encountered. Even more frightening than its overwhelming size and speed is how it causes instant land devastation and death. Picture tsunamis obliterating entire cities in minutes! What? McClusky knows if his team is unsuccessful in disabling and stopping this foreign enemy’s weapon of destruction, sooner or later his beloved Trieste and other undersea colonies could become the next victims of a country bent on world dominance. But the plan McClusky puts together involves secretly boarding the vessel to dismantle it. That boarding has to somehow be made under the sea…no easy feat…and once aboard, the team must locate the monster sub’s fission center, disable it, and get out in mere seconds before they too become part of a nuclear meltdown in one the deepest parts of the ocean. Talk about heart-stopping action!
Timothy S. Johnston is an incredible writer, word perfect, and so imaginatively creative one has to read his books to truly experience the cinematic aspects of his beloved underwater world. He builds tension with every chapter as his plot twists and turns throughout, and even the last page jolts us with an unexpected shock. Yet, somehow in the midst of all the dangerous excitement, his readers find themselves caught up in the emotional pasts and presents of his characters, but never at the loss of momentum or suspense. There’s a reason Johnston was the winner of the 2018 Global Thriller Award. Discover that reason for yourself when you read his entire Rise of Oceania series of books.