As a veteran of large and small wars as well as joint special operations activities with allied nations, I find it difficult to choke down many of the books written about SEALs. They are not super men, they are not bullet proof and not all survive the Byzantine world of intelligence agencies and national agendas that they are fitted into in order to try and arrive at some semblance of an ‘acceptable’ solution that may be justified in one presidential administration only to be later excoriated. The game is hard, the bureaucracy unforgiving and the environment is almost always hostile. (human jungle far worse than the actual one)
Thus I entered the world of The Brass Frog with some trepidation. A. Denis Clift, a former naval officer and intelligence official/bureaucrat had two books under his belt A Death in Geneva and With Presidents to the Summit before he embarked on The Brass Frog. This was not his first rodeo and he was a naval officer and Editor-in-Chief of Proceedings magazine. Knowing how to write doesn’t mean that you can be a successful novelist, though. Mr. Clift clearly knew how the system worked, but the question in my mind was whether or not he knew how SEALs thought and how operators worked.
Welcome to The Bronze Frog.
Commander Linc Walker, a sharp, combat-seasoned SEAL is on a clandestine mission against the People’s Republic of China when he is betrayed by leaders in The White House. Forced to retire, Walker learns that the President’s National Security Adviser, a fellow Stanford graduate, together with the National Security Council’s China expert, gave the orders blocking a submarine’s scheduled recovery of he and Chief Gunner’s Mate John Hall (who succumbs to injuries and dies). They alone are responsible for Hall’s death—traitors in Linc’s eyes.
“You’re getting the feeling now, aren’t you, president’s man? Unable to move, everything ebbing away, and still somewhere in that brain the hope that help is on the way.” (p. 261)