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on 8 December 2010
Having been among the first to enjoy Diver, Tony Groom's highly colourful and successful account of his experiences as a Royal Navy clearance diver in the Falklands conflict and afterwards in the world of commercial diving, I suspected his new offering would be entertaining. However, I was unprepared for this engaging and well-crafted thriller that had me gripped from the start.

The hero (or perhaps more accurately the anti-hero) of IN2DEEP is a former Royal Navy clearance diver called Nick Carter who has a jaundiced view of authority, discipline and inconvenient aspects of the rule of law. A hard-bitten rogue who is forced to endure considerable pain and hardship as events unfold, he is by no means cast as a superman. Instead, he is a realistically flawed character who becomes the victim of circumstances. Despite his reluctance to become involved in anything 'official', his gritty determination to seek redress and recover a precious item that has been stolen from him eventually leads to the downfall of the villains of the piece.

The overall theme of this well-written story is definitely salty, as are the characters and dialogue. Set in the Mediterranean, it incorporates familiar locations and dramatic action including diving for treasure, single-handed sailing, high seas piracy, international terrorism and an underlying love story that provides the catalyst for the hero's actions. I won't reveal too many details of the swift-moving plot but its development includes parallel threads that twist and turn but come together cataclysmically in the final chapters. The climax is a vividly described anti-terrorist operation that involves a panoply of UK Special Forces and other units, including some of Nick's old naval diving buddies. Despite employing all the modern gadgetry and technical wizardry at their disposal, the outcome is nail-bitingly uncertain right up to the end.

IN2DEEP will appeal especially well to a naval and military audience which can identify with its characters and situations but it should also prove popular with any general reader who enjoys a cracking good yarn.
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on 20 March 2011
For those of you who haven't heard of Tony Groom, he is a former Royal Navy clearance diver whose experiences in the Royal Navy (including bomb disposal during the Falklands Conflict) and his subsequent career as a civilian diver, were elequently told in his previous book "Diver".

Groom has made a seamless transition from Non-Fiction to Fiction, with this, his debut novel. Chapter One starts off at a breathless pace, and the whole book continues at the same pace and never lets up. Unlike a lot of fiction books, the hero, a former Navy Diver called Nick Carter, isn't some form of super-hero, taking on and beating all comers, a la Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt or Fleming's Bond. Carter is a "believable" hero, with weaknesses and frailties.

It is very clear from an early stage in the book that it is written by a former member of the armed forces, but unlike some authors, it isn't overloaded with Forces slang, acronyms, etc that make it difficult to follow.

I won't give away the story, but I will say that it keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the end.

I very much hope that Groom is already hard at work writing more stories and this is only the first of a series of adventures for Nick Carter.

If you have an interest in the Forces, the Navy, or just like a rip-roaring action adventure novel, I would thoroughly recommend this book!
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on 30 November 2010
Well - what can I say - this book is unputdownable.

I've waited patiently for 2 years and at last THE book has been delivered. My normal reading matter is travelly autobiography type stuff so an action thriller would not usually be my choice hence my absolute complete surprise that I loved every minute of it - even the gruesome grizzly bits.
I kept puzzling though while reading - why does this feel unlike any other novel I've ever read? As I carried on it gradually dawned on me. In my mind's eye I'm not actually reading fiction at all. I know from Diver that Tony Groom has had 1st hand experience of most of what he is describing or if he hasn't he knows someone who has. Most of the characters are obviously based on people very close to him, that he has come across, or worked very closely with over the years (Miles, Smudge & Rex are the obvious ones) and Nick loves sailing so brain says this is not fiction it's Diver volume 2 and Tony/"Nicholas" is just carrying on from where he left off. And it works brilliantly. I kept thinking should he be telling us all this "secret" stuff. It's obviously common knowledge in his world and makes the book great - there again it comes across as fact not fiction. What a chuffing marvellous book!! & if anyone says any different there's something the matter with them.
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on 17 April 2012
An excellent first novel by Tony Groom, many thriller writers make their novels a bit incredible, he has made this one, very credible indeed. A very well crafted book, it was very difficult to put this book down, so well paced, I hope that there are more in the pipeline.

Superb job Tony, congratulations
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on 5 September 2014
Great read, well recommended for anyone who likes forces adventures, it reads very similarly to his factual/autobiographical book Diver, and makes you wonder how much of it is made up and how much is real...
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on 29 December 2010
I find it rare for a good non-fiction writer to successfully make the jump to become a good fiction writer, so, having read Tony Groom`s last book, Diver (non-fiction) I wasn`t sure what to expect with In2deep.

I should not have worried; all the wit, all the grit, all the action that was present in Diver is here also - and in abundance. But there`s more to it than that - the story is simply superb; with a modern and highly believable plot that pulled me in and raced me along as if I`d caught my tie in the 5.15 to Manchester.

The research is impressive, as is the technical detail, and the settings are rich and detailed, with a fabulous chase across North Africa ending in the city of Fez. Characters are interesting also, with main protagonist Nick Carter striking the perfect balance between grieving husband and ruthless, relentless action hero.

Tony Groom reminds me in some ways of Hammond Innes, he really understands adventure. Never being limited geographically or imaginatively, he writes big.

I guess in hindsight, it should have been obvious that In2deep would be brilliant -Diver`s success was in no small part down to Tony Groom`s incredible knack for story telling. And he`s done it again. Superb!
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on 25 October 2011
This is definately the most original, well thought out, interesting book I've had the pleasure to read in years. From start to finish it is well researched, and written in a way that would be the envy of more seasoned writers. Look out Andy McNab/Chris Ryan!! Tony Groom blows your fact/fiction out of the water!
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on 27 January 2012
Much the same as everyone else I imagine, I was keen to read this after reading the great 'Diver'. It's good, well written with convincing, sympathetic characters and a good pace.
My main problem with it is the rather contrived nature of the plot. The central premise of the Polonium dispersal is a brilliant and truly frightening concept. Easily enough on its own to hang the book on. However, in order to keep the action going this is surrounded by a lot of stuff that simply doesn't make a great deal of sense.
For example, the mastermind behind the plot has the brains to think up this devastating and subtle plan that puts him at little risk. However, instead of just dropping off the practically undetectably contaminated fuel he decides to endanger the whole thing and himself by bringing along a load of extremely dangerous and easily detectable nuclear fuel rods! The 'it's a dirty bomb just in case the other stuff didn't work' explanation is thin and does not fit at all with his character- it is made very clear he's in no hurry to die for his cause.
Something else: what does he need a whole bunch of heavily armed mercenaries for?! He's either going to drop off the fuel or supposedly destroy the ship. Neither requires a small army. He already has a dozen fanatics to control the ship and the crew isn't even under duress.
That, and the stuff about Hadda's son at the end wasn't particularly convincing. It almost seemed crammed in as an afterthought when the author couldn't decide how to finish off the bad guy. I don't know, maybe if we'd been introduced to their relationship earlier it might have worked better?
Don't get me wrong, it's a good read and I was up late finishing it but too much seems to have been just shoehorned in there to move things along or give the Special Forces a target. A promising debut though and I'll be reading the next one.
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on 29 December 2010
Ive,read both of Tony,s books ,both caused me to miss meals and stay up later than planned, gripping is the right word,have lent them to Marines and Para,s who thought they could pick technical faults in them but as they said they were :spot on: really looking foreward to the next adventures of Nick Carter ,he,s got 7/10THS OF THE WORLD TO PLAY IN, and get into trouble,a hazard Navy divers usually find themselves in ,MACNAB and RYAN,start worrying,theres a frogman sneaking up on you.
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on 28 December 2010
I really enjoyed this book after reading the author's book Diver about his time as a Navy Clearance and SAT Diver.
I have read many a novel and this rates up there with the highest.
Fast paced, exciting and very enjoyable. The Author uses his obvious great knowledge of the diving world to great effect.
I hope there are more on the way.
Move over Disk Pitt old boy.
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