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When Duty Whispers Low [Hardcover]

John J. Gobbell


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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good sea action adventure 8 May 2002
By Robert F. Jakubowicz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you enjoy your novels featuring sea battles -e.g. the Hornblower series, etc.- you will enjoy this book. It is not your ordinary sea action story. It is a well written, literary fiction. The author, like Bernard Cornwell in his Sharpe series, uses an actual historic battle event as the setting for his story. In this case it is the naval battle in the Pacific in WWII between the U. S. Navy and the Japanese fleet. In particular it is centered around the Japanese attempt to retake Guadalcanal.
The action is real and the characters give a reader a real sense of what it must have been like while serving on a destroyer in these battles.
Without missing a beat in the action and drama, the author also interweaves into his story the introduction of an actual secret U. S. weapon that was deployed in these battles, namely, the proximity fuse. This and a few other sideplots increase the drama and one's interest in this book.
If you like this genre of fiction, then I also highly recommend a previous book by the author entitled, "The Last Lieutenant."
It's a great book to have on a summer vacation to be read by the sea.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Duty Whispers Low 24 Jun 2004
By Gary S. Vandeweghe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Book Three, When Duty Whispers Low, is a page-turner.
The action is in the Phillippines in The Last Lieutenant and A Code for Tomorrow, and now we move to the Solomons, specifically Mondo Mondo off New Georgia in the Slot. In early 1943, both the U.S. and Japan were fencing after the heavy tolls in the Coral Sea and at Midway, and U.S. ground forces (okay, the Marines) have retaken Guadalcanal. The U.S. Navy is across Iron Bottom Sound at Tulagi, at the southeastern end of the New Georgia Sound bisecting the Solomons (the Slot), and the Japanese are 300 miles northwest at Bougainville (closer than San Jose is to L.A.).
Todd Ingram, now a Lieutenant Commander (a Major to folks who like solid ground or clear air under their feet), is the Exec on the destroyer U.S.S. Howell. In a rough fight off Mondo Mondo, the Howell loses its ass end and ends up on the beach. Most of the crew narrowly escape, and a banged-up Todd Ingram is sent home to San Pedro to recover.
Meanwhile there is plenty of intrigue. Helen Durand, now Helen Ingram, is a Navy nurse and receives an unwanted assignment to North Africa. Navy crytroanalysts are hard at work on Japanese naval codes, and there may be problems with proximity fuses. The last is a project of desk sailor Captain Frank Ashton, whose high opinion of himself spells trouble.
The Gensui of the Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is just north of the Solomons at Rabaul on New Britain. He is planning a trip to Bougainville to visit the troops.
Todd Ingram is about to take his first command when an air raid forces his ship, the tin can U.S.S. Pence, out of Tulagi harbor and after a nasty fight to the bottom. Soon he is on a PT Boat heading back up the Slot to the Howell to blow it up and rescue the survivors of an earlier attempt to scuttle her.
Army Air Forces are revving up on Guadalcanal to look for Yamamoto's flight to Bougainville. They know where he is going, and his compulsion for punctuality.
So?
Something's got to happen, and it does. Plenty.
Volume 4, Neptune's Progeny is next.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Greyhound WWW II Action 28 Jun 2002
By Bob Mahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Haze grey and underway. Tin can sailors will love the book.
Great sea/air battle scenes and lots of them. John puts you right in the action. This is the third in a series of SAGAs involving Todd Ingram. The first two should be read first. I look forward to the next novel.
Best sea novel since "Time and Tide" by Thomas Fleming.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting WWII Sea Thriller 26 Jun 2009
By zorba - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gobbell turns in another ace war thriller, this time involving the action around "The Slot" in the Solomon Islands after Guadacanal. The action is frequent and incredibly vivid. I can't imagine any author penning more realistic descriptions of the noise and frenzy of sea battles. The characters are well defined and the plot is intricate -- all combining to present a fast-paced, riveting book. This is the third Gobbell book I've read (I seem to be working backward through the series) and I pledge to read everything and anything this master craftsman writes.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improvement over the Second Book of the series 7 Jun 2004
By S. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I finally decided to give this series another try after getting bored with the second book a couple years ago. This book is well written and well paced. The action is realistic and the characterization of the main cast is consistant. However, there was one noticeable error. At about half-way through this book the USS Pelican (Ingram's minesweeper in Book 1) becomes the USS Penguin. The other thing that bugged me about this book is that Ingram keeps getting his ships shot out from under him. Is he jinxed? Does he just have the worst luck in the Navy? Since his ships keep getting sunk or heavily damaged, why does the Navy keep promoting/rewarding him? But that is just a minor nitpick on my part. Otherwise, this is one of the better series of Navy fiction that I've read.
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