The stories in Cold War Canoe Club are like vertical launch missiles that explode to reveal a darker side of the US Navy in a time when most of the action took place away from the headlines. Welcome to the period between World War II and Desert Storm, when enemies were just as likely to be seen on radar as aboard the same ship. The characters who populate the stories Hess has written face their own doom through dangers—foreign and domestic, including shipmates, spouses, secrets, lies, greed, lust, and bad decisions. As Cold War Canoe Club unfolds, we witness the darkest recesses of war ships and the men who sail aboard them as well as the women who wait for them in port and at home. There’s a submarine sinking in frigid waters, a pregnant Navy wife distraught over the Cuban Missile Crisis, a race riot aboard an air craft carrier, fist fights, loose women, bad luck, and bad decisions. Hess’s sailors and veterans haunt deeply with the authentic sense of people being on ships at sea or at the ends of their ropes as civilians. These stories bristle with noir intrigue and energy, while transporting readers to worlds few have ever seen. A dark exploration of service men, officers, gentlemen, lowlifes, and those trying to navigate troubled waters across oceans and on land.
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