Under normal circumstances, the thirteen men and women seated in the conference room would have been dressed in formal attire, the men wearing crisp business suits, the women turned out in silk blouses and coordinating skirts. They would have struck up lively conversations, attempting to persuade their colleagues to accept one proposal or another, their animated faces reflecting off the room’s varnished chestnut paneling. But tonight, pulled away from their evening activities, they wore sports slacks and shirts, their hair wet and windblown, their faces grim as they sat quietly in their seats, eyes fixed on the man at the head of the U-shaped conference table.
Beads of rain clung to Levi Rosenfeld’s Windbreaker, left there by a spring storm that had settled over the Middle East, expending itself in unbridled fury, sheets of rain descending in cascading torrents. Prime Minister Rosenfeld, flanked by all twelve members of Israel’s National Security Council, fumed silently in his seat as he awaited details of an unprecedented threat to his country’s existence. He wondered how such critical information could have been discovered so late. At the far left of the conference table sat Barak Kogen, Israel’s intelligence minister. Although Kogen was not a member of the Security Council, Rosenfeld had directed him to attend tonight’s meeting to explain the Mossad’s failure.
At the front of the room, a man stood before a large flat-screen monitor. Thin and short, wearing round wire-rimmed glasses, Ehud Rabin’s physical presence failed to reflect the power he wielded as the leader of Israel’s second-strongest political party and as Israel’s defense minister. Ehud waited for Rosenfeld’s permission to begin.
Rosenfeld nodded in his direction.
Pushing his glasses onto the bridge of his nose, Ehud stated what everyone in the room already knew. “The Mossad reports Iran will complete assembly of its first nuclear weapon in ten days.” The lights in the conference room flickered, thunder rumbling in the distance as if on cue.
Rosenfeld looked at his intelligence minister. “Why did we discover this just now, only days before they complete assembly?”
Kogen shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his eyes scanning each member of the Security Council before coming to rest on Rosenfeld. “I apologize, Prime Minister. Nothing is more important than preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But Iran has deceived us and the rest of the world. We were fortunate to discover the true extent of their progress in time. We will be more vigilant in the future.”
There was something about Kogen’s quick apology rather than stout defense of his Mossad that gave Rosenfeld the impression he was hiding something. But perhaps the evening’s tension was clouding his intuition. He turned back to Ehud. “What are our options?”
Ehud pressed a remote control in his hand, stepping aside as the monitor flickered to life, displaying a map of Iran. “Weapon assembly is occurring at the Natanz nuclear complex.” A flashing red circle appeared two hundred kilometers south of Tehran.
The Trident Deception
"A terrific thriller debut. Campbell does an amazing job, balancing character interaction with high-octane action, all the while keeping the technical jargon to a level understandable by nonmilitary readers. This is the best novel about a submarine since Tom Clancy’s classic The Hunt For Red October."—Booklist (starred review) "Fans of submarine thrillers who are saddened by the demise of Tom Clancy will welcome Campbell’s debut."—Publishers Weekly
"No one puts the reader inside a submarine like Rick Campbell does in The Trident Deception. I couldn’t put it down. Compelling and thrilling, this novel is a must read." —Jack Coughlin, New York Times bestselling author of Shooter and Time to Kill
"The Trident Deception is a fistfight of a thriller. A masterpiece." —Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden and Tier One Wild