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Robin White (1) (1954–)

Author of Siberian Light

For other authors named Robin White, see the disambiguation page.

4 Works 468 Members 8 Reviews

Works by Robin White

Siberian Light (1997) 297 copies
Typhoon (2003) 107 copies
The Ice Curtain (2002) 42 copies
Hunters in the Sea (2006) 22 copies


Common Knowledge

Legal name
White, Robin Al
Other names
White, Robin A.
Places of residence
Monterey, California, USA
Pacific Grove, California, USA
Oil-Well Roughneck
Oil-Well Logging Engineer
Science Writer
Community Energy Planner
Short biography
Robin White has been an oil-well roughneck, oil-well-logging engineer, science writer, community energy planner, and an architect by vocation, an instrument-rated pilot by avocation. He has lived all over the United States and in Europe, including Russia and Siberia. He now lives near Monterey, California, with his wife.



I picked this book completely on a whim because I think that submarines are pretty cool. There have been some fantastic movies about submarine warfare but this was the first book on the subject that I have read. I hoped for something exciting and fast paced that would be fairly easy to read and entertaining.

The book is written in chronological order with the setting switching between the places the action takes place. There are three main settings for the story, the submarine USS Portland (American), the submarine Gepard (Russian) and a freighter which contains a deadly secret. That secret is a strain of smallpox which has been smuggled out of a decrepit lab in Russia by its main scientist. The reader is left to decide whether this scientist initially had good intentions or not. There is now a race to secure the smallpox otherwise potentially the world is at risk. To add further complications into the mix, a SEAL team is deployed onto USS Portland with orders which cause conflict between the captain of the submarine and the leader of the SEAL team.

There is a lot going on in this book. Global politics, gender issues, terrorism, leadership battles, and warfare. At times things do get a little OTT but there are other times where the reader's beliefs are challenged. There were some predictable events that happened but all of this is handled pretty well. This could have become a big mess but the author manages to keep the lid on it until the right time comes. I really enjoyed this book, it is exactly what I hoped it would be and it delivered the thrills I wanted.
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Brian. | 1 other review | Jul 25, 2021 |
A truly forgettable novel that I only finished because I started it.
GeneHunter | 2 other reviews | Mar 13, 2016 |
The Baikal is a Typhoon-class Russian ballistic missile submarine. It’s huge, the size of a WW II aircraft carrier, and the United States paid Russia to destroy as part of the reduction of nuclear weapons. The Chinese, eager to force a confrontation over Taiwan, have their own plans for the sub. They have paid corrupt Russian officials to deliver the sub to them, and, unbeknownst to the sub’s volunteer crew, it’s loaded with 20 nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. (This puzzled me as the sub would have trimmed differently with all that weight on board; surely the captain would have noticed the difference. Ah well, it’s fiction.)

There’s another sub in the water, the Portland, an American Los Angeles-class attack sub with a dysfunctional captain, a rebellious crew, and a woman lieutenant who speaks Russian. She and the captain, commander Vann, who has a very checkered past, get off to a bad start, and things go downhill from there. Everyone seems to have an ax to grind. An admiral at Norfolk wants Vann to prevent the Russian sub from making it through the Bering Straits, and issues orders with enough leeway to give the Vann an excuse to torpedo the Russian sub. Lots of interesting maneuvering under the ice and tricks to fool sonar.

The issue of women aboard subs is not handled with any subtlety. Scavello, the female Lieutenant, seems to have little to do and the enlisted men nothing better than to complain about the soap she uses. White does a nice job of portraying the devastation and poverty facing the Russian Navy, in fact the Russians come across much better than the Americans.

If you liked The Hunt for Red October (I did, about the only Clancy I do like,) you’ll love this cat-and-mouse sub chase and the little assorted side-plots. Several Amazon reviewers compained that the book was a mish-mash of Clancy's novel and Crimson Tide. Picky, picky. I love the technical detail, the more the merrier.

Robin White is listed as the co-author of the very excellent [b:Hostile Waters|525468|Hostile Waters|Peter A. Huchthausen||513315] with Peter Huchthausen. I could not verify that and the Huchthausen book lists an R. Alan White. If anyone knows if these authors are the same, I'd appreciate knowing.
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ecw0647 | 2 other reviews | Sep 30, 2013 |
submarine thriller; Russian officers sabotage plans to sell nuclear-missile sub to Chinese with sometime help from Americans; stereotypical over-the top American sub skipper, first-ever female communications officer, typical brouhaha
FKarr | 2 other reviews | Apr 3, 2013 |

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