A Book Spy Review: ‘Hunter Killer’ by David Poyer

Hunter killerThe United States’ war with China continues in David Poyer’s seventeenth novel in his bestselling Dan Lenson series, Hunter Killer.

Following last year’s Onslaught, U.S. Naval Officer Dan Lenson has been promoted to admiral. Now, heading up a team that’s been assigned to help take back Guam, Lenson must see to it that a unit of Marines is safely transported to the island while also clearing the sea space around the land that was recently overrun by the Chinese. 

Meanwhile, the story shifts to other characters — like Lenson’s wife, Blair, who is part of a Washington-based round table charged with helping to form a strategy against the Chinese, who are utilizing cutting-edge technology to dominate the war up until this point. Advanced weaponry, though, is only half the problem, as China also has sheet numbers on their side. 

Using their significantly larger number of armed militants to score victories in Japan and the Philippines, the Chinese turn their attention towards other countries who would rather enter one-sided treaties with them rather than join the fight against them. That leaves America mostly on her own as the battle wages on, and, for the time being, they’re losing badly, much in the same way that an inferior strategist gets outcoached by someone with less experienced players. 

Struggling to keep sea lanes open in the Pacific, Lenson and his men quickly come under siege in a series of gripping, thundering battle scenes that rival some of the genre’s best action-packed naval sequences. 

David Poyer leans on his own background as a Navy captain and defense analyst to bring scorching realism to his latest novel, which utilizes carriers, advanced submarines, and various ground units — giving readers a plethora of set pieces used to create multiple entertaining battle scenarios. The plot is both complex and suspenseful; however, it does feel at times like Poyer keeps setting up for something big to happen without quite making good on his promise. 

The series will certainly continue, and while the war with China is one of the better story arcs in this franchise, Poyer, after all the buildup, needs to find a way to really deliver in the next book when this conflict could, conceivably, reach an ending point. 

On par with Larry Bond and Rick Campbell, David Poyer’s Hunter Killer proves yet again that when it comes to dramatic naval thrillers, he’s one of the very best still working in the genre today. 

Book Details

Author: David Poyer
Series: Dan Lenson #17
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250097959
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10
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