An aging Coast Guard patrol boat is all that stands between the world and nuclear annihilation!
The world is on the brink of war, with NATO mobilizing to counter a Russian threat to Poland and Lithuania and leaders openly discussing war options. In the midst of the crisis, a Russian bomber collides with a U.S. fighter off Florida causing the accidental launch of a nuclear-tipped hypersonic missile.
A Coast Guard cutter on a routine patrol finds a drug-laden sailboat smashed and adrift north of the Florida Keys. The boat’s damage is from a near miss by the Russian missile which has not harmlessly flown deep into the Gulf of Mexico as initially thought, but crashed somewhere in the Keys.
The Coast Guard crew is in a race against a vicious and powerful international crime syndicate to find and recover the Russian nuke before its discovery can trigger a nuclear war.
Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship's crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Dagger Quest provides a fast-paced, taut story - excellent fare for both sea adventure and military thriller fans.
read an excerpt from Dagger Quest...
Ben’s first encounter with the 252 Syndicate ends in a high-speed chase through Key West, Florida:
Ben slowed and veered right onto Flagler with a screaming of tires and modest fishtailing as he straightened on the new path. Their pursuers also swung in behind them from Roosevelt a few seconds later.
“Floor it! We’ll be hanging a right on Tenth in ten blocks, same tactic. Keep hitting that horn!”
Ben stayed on the horn, dodging through traffic at speeds approaching fifty miles per hour.
“Counting down,” Simmons said, “Fourteenth, Thirteenth, twelfth, Eleventh, slow down and prepare to hang a right, NOW!”
Ben executed another tire-squealing turn and straightened out, heading north on Tenth, gunning the engine and leaning on the horn.
“Stand by to hit the brakes!” Simmons shouted. “Steady, steady, NOW, hit the brakes!”
Ben stood on the brake pedal, tires shrieked, and the anti-lock braking chattered. After skidding to a stop in the middle of the street next to a large lagoon, Simmons shouted, “Get down!” He opened both doors on his side of the car, using the rear door for cover.
Ben dropped behind the seat as their pursuer began screeching to a stop. Suddenly, there was a tremendous crash with the sound of tearing metal and followed by a large splash. Simmons shut the doors and said in a normal tone, “OK, let’s roll. Back to the base, nice and easy.”
Ben shot up and saw several figures in combat gear with guns drawn running forward from an SUV stopped in the middle of Tenth Street. The car chasing them was coming to rest upside down in the lagoon. “WHAT—THE—HELL!” he shouted at Simmons.
“Come on, friend, we need to move it. It’s handled. We’re clear now, so stay law-abiding all the way, please.”
Ben stared at him for a few seconds, then pressed the accelerator. The engine raced briefly, and then, with shaking hands, Ben shifted into Drive.
“See, you’re a natural,” Simmons said with a smile. “You didn’t even realize you shifted into Park.”
about Edward Hochsmann...
Edward Hochsmann is the pen name of a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added “author” to his list of experiences. Ed likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office. After a career traveling from Australia in the west to Italy and Germany in the east, Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle to focus on writing (and not shoveling snow!)
Ed has two novels published right now (plus one launching in August 2022) in the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures series about a Coast Guard patrol boat assigned to "special" missions. Dagger Quest takes place in the Florida Keys and involves an aging Coast Guard patrol boat dragooned into a search for a lost Russian nuclear weapon in a time of international crisis. The second, Caribbean Counterstrike, features the same patrol boat and crew, now with equipment and training upgrades, sent to recover a deadly nerve gas from a murderous Caribbean drug cartel. Bravely and Faithfully has Kauai, under a new captain supporting a covert raid on a Caribbean island held by the Chinese.
Ed's second series, C6S: Patrol Force deals with a combined defense establishment and constabulary for a galactic economic empire called the Confederation of the Six Systems (C6S). Ed has published two novellas and a novel-length collection late last year.
Stay connected with Ed –
more personal "stuff" about Mr. Unknown (Edward Hochsmann)
What are your favorite TV shows?
Frasier, Elementary, Blue Bloods, The Rookie, McDonald & Dodds
What is your favorite meal?
Steak and Lobster with a nice, loaded baked potato
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
I don’t know, perhaps a Coast Guard patrol boat snatched from normal operations to do special missions? ;)
Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
I don’t think there are any that I idolize. However, I deeply enjoy Jeff Shaara’s work and wish I had his talent for bringing historical figures to life in a story.
How did you come up for the title of this book?
Dagger Quest. This one is pretty simple. The triggering event for the story is the accidental launch of a Kh-47M2 Kinzhal nuclear-tipped missile after a mid-air collision between a Russian bomber and U.S. fighter. The main plot is a search for that missile in the Florida Keys. Kinzhal is the Russian word for “Dagger.” So, “Kinzhal Search” becomes “Dagger Quest.”
Caribbean Counterstrike. I wish I had a clever answer for this. I wanted “Caribbean” in the title and “Counterstrike” just came to me.
Bravely and Faithfully. Back in the beginning, I was taking a break from my first story to indulge in electronically doodling a ship’s crest for Kauai. I needed a gripping ship’s motto, so I went down the list of Latin phrases in Wikipedia and found Fortitier et Fideliter, Bravely and Faithfully, which I thought would be cool on the crest. This story really embraces that credo, in Haley’s decision to violate her orders and risk her crew to keep faith with the DIA team on Ile Ste. Michel.
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