By Douglas Morgan
285 pages | 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ | $23.95
“A taut tale of action.”
“Not a word is wasted…Tiger Cruise is truly that cliche, the book that you
can’t put down.”
“Brisk…Retired naval officer Morgan has the background to keep it authoritative
and make it lively.”
“Morgan builds a solid plot that sails full speed ahed with engaging characters,
terse dialogue and authentic action.”
Hardcover and paperback
The best-selling novel by Douglas Morgan.
Author of What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?
Film to be produced by Pamela Wallace and Susan Feiles
PLACE: The Straits of Malacca, off Indonesia
TIME: The present day
SITUATION: A US Navy ship carrying civilians and nuclear weapons, isolated, and under attack
There’s a US Battle Group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, operating in the Persian Gulf. Now it’s time to rotate, with the Nimitz group returning to their homeport in Japan, and a new carrier group going to the Gulf. They outchop via Diego Garcia, where they refuel and drop off the ammo that they won’t need to carry back, so that the inchopping units can pick it up.
At Diego they also pick up a Tiger Detachment, dependents who will sail with them back to homeport. Some of them will be riding with their sponsors aboard USS Cushing, an improved Spruance class destroyer. As large as a WWII light cruiser, the Cushing is a highly capable ASW/AAW (anti-submarine/anti-air) unit. The Cushing is assigned to be part of the ASW screen for the battle group, operating alone 200 to 300 miles in advance of the main body, searching for submarines using towed array sonar.
The battle group is returning via the Straits of Malacca, northwest of Australia, in Indonesia. This area is known for its pirate activity, and for its political restlessness. This is where the war in East Timor has been going on for decades, with frightful atrocities.
A group of pirates, with behind-the-scenes backing from the Suharto regime in Indonesia, wants a Spruance class for its outstanding AAW capability. The 61 vertically launched missiles on the Cushing can take down any aircraft in the world, including airliners. This will put the pirates (and their backers) in control of the airlanes over Indonesia, and will make it possible to threaten civilian aircraft connecting Australia with the world. What the pirates don’t know is that the Cushing is also carrying four Tomahawk TLAM-N tactical nuclear weapons, each with a range of 1500 miles.
A typhoon is blowing in. This makes the waters more dangerous—there are sudden shallows, combined with islands and crooked passages between them—and closes down all air operations and blinds the surveillance satellites in the region.
The Cushing is 300 miles ahead, and alone. And they’re the pirate target. While Spruances are very capable, their close-in weapons are weak (due to ship’s configuration the starboard quarter isn’t covered at all), and their antisurface weapons are limited (one naval rifle, 198 rounds if fully loaded). Their maximum speed is 33 knots—but the pirates use outboard powered boats that can top 45 knots.
The pirates strike, and the first thing they aim for are the communication bubbles and antennae. Shoulder-fired rockets quickly destroy the bridge. The Cushing is now unable to communicate. The Cushing‘s captain and crew must now defend his crippled, isolated ship filled with civilians.
It’s like Assault on Precinct 13 on a ship, as everyone has to pitch in, as pirates come over the side, there’s hand-to-hand fighting in the passageways, and the world falls apart. Lured by false lights, the Cushing isn’t where anyone thinks they are.
What follows are battles in the air, at sea, and in the corridors of power behind the scenes. The Cushing must hold out long enough for the Nimitz to find them and send help, and the Australians have to be held off from sinking the Cushing outright—all while avoiding open war against the world’s fourth-most-populous nation.
Pamela Wallace won an academy award for her screenplay for Witness. She has also won the Writer’s Guild Award and the Mystery Writers of America Award (Edgar). She is the author of more than twenty novels and numerous films, most recently the award-winning HBO film If These Walls Could Talk, the ABC movie-of-the-week Alibi, and the CBS movie-of-the-week Borrowed Hearts.
Susan Feiles is currently producing The Tums Die, a reality-based comedy
featuring Jodie Foster, Mary McDonnell, and Cher.