Tag Archives: Submarines

Lee Mims. Trusting Viktor. Woodbury, MN: Midnight Ink, 2014.

viktorCleo Cooper has a good relationship with her ex-husband, Franklin Donovan Cooper IV (“Bud”). Cleo is a well known and well compensated economic geologist, but Bud still feels the need to watch out for her interests.  At Bud’s suggestion, Cleo has invested in a company that is exploring for natural gas off the North Carolina coast. This was supposed to be just a financial investment for Cleo, but when the company fires most of its geologists, Bud pulls Cleo in to use her expertise in a way that protects their investments.

Cleo does not relish a helicopter ride out to the drill ship, but the ride itself becomes the least of her problems. The drilling operation is clearly in flux, Cleo gets mixed signals about who is in charge, and soon after she arrives she is attacked by an unknown assailant. Cleo is grateful that her stay on the rig is a short one.

When the body of a man who might have been her assailant washes up on the sands of Atlantic Beach, Cleo is visited by the police.  Cleo cannot be sure the dead man was her attacker but when she looks at his body, she sees something that might implicate Bud in the man’s murder. Soon Cleo is back on the drilling ship–for personal and professional reasons. She’ll soon find that there is more than one kind of treasure beneath the ocean waves.

This well plotted mystery will be of special interest to readers who know North Carolina’s history–both the recent saga of offshore energy exploration and story of how German U-boats prowled along our coast during World War II.

This is the second Cleo Cooper mystery.  The first title in the series is Hiding Gladys.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Carteret, Coast, Dare, Mims, Lee, Mystery, Novels in Series, Wake

Thomas Meinecke. Pale Blue. Las Vegas, NV: AmazonCrossing, 2012.

Set in mid-1999, Pale Blue follows the thoughts of Tillman, a young German living temporarily on the Outer Banks. Fascinated by blues music, he traces its evolution through time, musing on iconic figures and significant events from Josephine Baker and World War II to Ronald Reagan and Mariah Carey. This history is interspersed with his own ethnic and sexual self-explorations, which he embarks on with the aid of Vermilion, a local waitress earning her doctorate at Duke studying Hasidic Jews. Tillman also corresponds with an old girlfriend in Germany, Yolanda. As he and Vermilion travel from Ocracoke to Kitty Hawk to Roanoke Island, we journey with them on their voyage of self-discovery and historical inquiry.

Meinecke’s second novel, translated from the German by Daniel Bowles, is a twisting path through time and narration, often switching location and speaker abruptly. Those interested in stream of consciousness writing in particular will enjoy the style of this novel.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coast, Meinecke, Thomas

Laura S. Wharton. Leaving Lukens. Mt. Airy, NC: Broad Creek Press, 2011.

In June of 1942, Lukens is a small town on the North Carolina coast, and it’s getting smaller. Residents left first in trickles, but now they’re crossing the Neuse in a torrent to places like Oriental, with its modern conveniences and thriving community. Ella Marie Hutchins, seventeen, is dead set against leaving. Everything she loves is in Lukens: her house, her Grandmother, and her handsome boyfriend, soon-to-be naval officer Jarrett Migette. When Jarrett announces he’s leaving earlier than planned, and her mother decides that they’re moving, Ella is distraught. Leaving Lukens might be the safest idea, however, as the war is closer than anyone thinks. Walking alone near the tideline one evening, Ella is threatened by a vicious Nazi scout, and barely escapes unscathed. Luckily, she’s assisted by a young stranger named Griff, who just happens to be passing by. Griff’s story makes sense–he’s a recreational sailor and treasure-hunter, visiting his uncle in Lukens on his prize sailboat Susanna. Soon he and Ella are fast friends, and as they spend more time together sailing, biking, and picnicking throughout the long, hot, Lukens summer, they begin to feel more for one another. But Griff is more than he seems, and the secret mission he is bound to fulfill will push Ella into danger greater than she’s ever faced before.

Filled with sailing lore, secrecy, Nazis, and romance, Leaving Lukens is an exciting new adventure from the author of The Pirate’s Bastard.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.




Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Carteret, Coast, Craven, Historical, Pamlico, Suspense/Thriller, Wharton, Laura S.

Keith Warren Lloyd. Cape Hatteras: A Novel. New York: iUniverse, 2008.

It’s common to think that the battle for the seas during World War II took place in distant locales like the South Pacific and the North Atlantic, but our own Outer Banks was the site of a dangerous cat-and-mouse game between American merchant and military vessels and German U-boats.  In this novel, the young commander of a U-boat makes it ashore after his boat sinks off Cape Hatteras.

Wolf Krugar is no gun-ho Nazi, but he serves loyally to uphold his class traditions and to protect his wife and daughter.  After his U-boat is destroyed by an American attack, Krugar clings to the debris of a tanker that he had earlier torpedoed.  He drifts on to Hatteras Island.  Harnessing his remaining strength, he walks to a remote cottage, home of Anne MacPherson, a local woman who has returned to the island to heal from the death of her young husband, who died in the Pacific Theater.  It is the classic setup for a tale of unexpected romance, but this novel is more sophisticated than that.  The reader is treated to a story of two damaged individuals who stay true to themselves while recognizing the humanity in the other.  The scenes with Kurt and Anne are interspersed with ones that show the local sheriff and military authorities closing in on Kurt.  These scenes ground the drama between Kurt and Anne in the larger conflict that includes the need to keep supplies flowing to Europe and the possibility of spies and double agents on each side of the conflict.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Dare, Lloyd, Keith Warren

Tom Lewis. Sons of Their Fathers. Swansboro, NC: Tease Publishing, 2008.

In this the final volume in the Pea Island Trilogy, it is the late 1970s. Dieter Bach, a concert violinist, has been shot during a mugging.  Dieter’s hands have been so injured that he will not be able to resume his career. His manager, Sy, directs Dieter down a new path–that of conductor.  To prepare for that, Sy sends Dieter to his summer house on Roanoke Island where Dieter can study and practice.  Dieter soon meets the beautiful Susan Everette who is working as a waitress at a restaurant that Dieter frequents.  His attraction to her is instantaneous.

This is is story of Suzi and Dieter’s love. The couple move from the Outer Banks to Virginia as Dieter learns his new craft.  Dieter is undeterred by Suzi’s mixed race heritage, but when he meets Suzi’s parents he discovers an obstacle to their happiness that forces him to return to Germany, the land of his birth.  Characters from earlier novels in the trilogy–especially Horst von Hellenbach–figure in the plot, and remind the reader that the past is not really so far behind us.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Dare, Lewis, Tom, Novels in Series

Sarah Shaber. Snipe Hunt. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2000.

Raleigh professor and “forensic historian” Simon Shaw was supposed to be spending his Thanksgiving week relaxing at Pearlie Beach, but he agreed to help his friend look for archaeological evidence of a Tuscarora village while he was there. What he did not agree to was investigating the corpse of a World War II diver dredged up off the coast. Confederate gold coins found with the body deepen the mystery and soon Simon is trying to determine if the Navy frogman drowned accidentally or was murdered. This novel is full of information and speculation about ships and shipwrecks, from Confederate blockade runners to German U-boats.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Shaber, Sarah

Tom Lewis. Hitler’s Judas. Rocky Mount, NC: VP Publishing, 2007.

The second novel in the Pea Island Gold trilogy, Hitler’s Judas takes place during the same time period as series’ first novel, Sunday’s Child. However, this story is told from the perspective of two Nazis. One, Horst Van Hellenbach, is a celebrated U-boat captain, while the other is one of Hitler’s closest confidants. The other is Hitler’s right-hand man, Martin Bormann, who sees the end of the Third Reich coming and plans to escape to Pea Island, NC with a fortune in Nazi gold. After the Germans arrive on the North Carolina coast, Von Hellenbach’s story becomes entwined with that of Pea Island resident Sunday Everette.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coast, Dare, Historical, Lewis, Tom, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller

Edward P. Norvell. Portsmouth: Spies, U-boats, and Romance on the Outer Banks. Winston-Salem: Distributed by John F. Blair, 2008.

The waters off the Outer Banks were crowded during World War II, with American and British submarines trying to keep German U-boats from getting close to American shores. In 1942 two U-boats and one British submarine were sunk. One U-boat contained a Enigma code machine that the Germans wanted to recover. A German officer was sent ashore, in disguise, to Portsmouth Island. A widow there believed him to be the British officer he claimed to be, and they fell in love. This novel nicely weaves together her story and his, following them through the war years and beyond. The novel also gives a good sense of life on the Outer Banks during the 1940s.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Dare, Norvell, Edward P., Romance/Relationship

Homer Hickam. The Keeper’s Son. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2003.

The tiny, fictional island of Killakeet, on North Carolina’s outer banks, is shaken when German U-Boats appear off the coast in 1941. Coast Guard Lt. Josh Thurlow, the son of the keeper of the lighthouse, takes it upon himself to protect his home. Leading an ill-equipped bunch of locals, Thurlow takes to the sea. The novel follows the emotional struggles of Thurlow and his father and also gives detailed descriptions of submarine warfare during World War II.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2003, Coast, Hickam, Homer, Historical, Novels Set in Fictional Places