his was one I got off the shelves at my local used bookstore, a roaring sea adventure set in the dark days of World War Two when the Japanese were pushing their ships down the “slot” and the Americans were doing everything they could to keep them from reinforcing and re-invading islands in The Solomon Islands. Into this hell-battle comes Harmon Wolf, an American Indian with his first command, a new destroyer. Wolf finds himself thinking outside the typical blue-navy box, willing to take full advantage of the new American radars to offset the threat from the Japanese Long Lance torpedoes. His strategies bear fruit and soon enough he’s beating the Japanese at their night battle games. With that, he finds himself informally bumped up to Commodore, commanding a small body of destroyers, but not without making enemies along the way.
P.T. Deutermann is an accomplished writer and can set moods and places well. Within no time, the reader fully understands the situations and battles our hero finds himself in. We understand the strengths and limitations of the American navy at the time. I thrilled at some of the tense battle scenes that the author portrays so well.
Then again, the book is not without its issues. There is a love interest but it seems tacked on – the hero does nothing to actually earn this love – she falls into his arms and that’s pretty much that. Further, there is an evil (and racist) officer who has it out for Wolf. I kept waiting for that hammer to fall and suddenly the officer is promoted to the other side of the world (literally). So what was all that tension and conflict about. Maybe there’s a sequel or something out there? That seems to be the only explanation.
Still, The Commodore was a great read, one you should keep an eye out for. All I know is that if I see this author’s books out again, I might pick up another. Great reading!