The Aden Effect – A Connor Stark Novel, by Claude Berube (Naval Institute Press – Oct 2012 publication). “Murder, politics, seapower, Middle East instThe Aden Effect – A Connor Stark Novel, by Claude Berube (Naval Institute Press – Oct 2012 publication). “Murder, politics, seapower, Middle East instability, and intrigue in the White House…” While that may describe the front page of the Washington Post these days, it is also the lead-in descriptor for the author’s first foray into fiction, set in the troubled waters off the Horn of Africa. A Navy Reserve Officer who has deployed to the region, Berube draws deeply on his expertise in intelligence, history and surface warfare to set the stage and populate his work with a wide variety of characters – and I do emphasize characters. The narrative flows well for a first fictional work and there are enough plot twists and sudden turns to keep you engaged and pressing deeper into the book. I won’t delve into details the plot as the book is slated for release in October, but an overview is available at the pre-order site on the Naval Institute Press’ website. I will point out that in order for the plot to work, the reader need not suspend all reality and disbelief as is the downfall of many works of fiction based on the real world. Likewise, you won’t need a copy of Jane’s or the DICNAVAB at your side to follow the action. The “stuff” of naval warfare – ships, aircraft, tactics and procedures, are nicely woven into the story, avoiding becoming the story themselves and allowing you to focus on the characters. With reference to the characters – it would have been nice to see a little more development of the ancillary actors but that is understandable in the first take at fiction.
Is it a buy? Certainly – coming out in October it is the perfect companion as you head up to the cabin for the weekend or off to the family reunion at Thanksgiving. Overall I’d rate it at 4 on a scale of 1-5 stars and am looking forward to the next installment in the series.