Book Review – Undetected

If I had a 100 Favorites book list this would be on it. This is the 480 page book mentioned yesterday as my possible next read. Once started, I’m no longer sure why it took me so long to get around to it. I imagine I thought it was a stressful thriller when really (by comparison) it’s a milder romance.


Amazon synopsis:

When asked what he does for a living . . .

Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the Navy.” But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She’s a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn’t see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter.

I was sad when this story ended. That’s my only complaint.

On the other hand, there are so many things about this book that I loved.

It was definitely engaging.

The research that must have gone into this story is mind boggling. The extensive technical descriptions of life on a armed submarine were highly detailed and believable, to me anyway. I found the life and discoveries of a scientific genius were also detailed and believable. The third part of all this involves the interactions of the characters. The relationships were complex and surprising in the unexpected way they played out.

There were 480 pages and every one of them was savored. Well, almost every one, there may have been a handful of scattered pages describing scenes on the sub where I skimmed a little. The need to read every single page doesn’t happen to me very often but it did for sure this time.

There was a mountain of technical information but at no point did I feel like I was being fed or educated. Dee Henderson has the show-not-tell method conquered.

When I think about the deep complexity of every aspect of this story, I am left shaking my head in wonder. I cannot imagine what it would take to write like this. I would guess that depth in a book is reflective of depth in the author, I think it would be difficult to write what isn’t in you to begin with. Dee Henderson has it in spades.

I was in love with the characters and the life they were living (with all it’s stresses and challenges) I did not want the book to end.

And that’s how it should be.


I’m not sure where I will go next, This reading experience will be a hard act to follow. I think I need to savor it a bit before deciding on the next book.

Going forward, I’m tempted to start a 100 Favorite Books list with Undetected as the first added to the lineup.

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