DiMercurio, Michael 1958-
DiMERCURIO, Michael 1958-
PERSONAL: Born April 9, 1958, in Denver, CO; son of Cyril (an executive and engineer) and Patricia Ruth (Wilson) DiMercurio; married first wife, Theresa (divorced); married Patricia Quigley (a marketing representative; divorced); children: (first marriage) Matthew, Marla, (second marriage) Meghan. Education: U.S. Naval Academy, B.S.M.E., 1980; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S.M.E., 1981.
ADDRESSES: Home—Princeton, NJ. Agent—Natasha Kern, Box 2908, Portland, OR 97208-2908. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, PA, project engineer, began 1988. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1980–88; became lieutenant.
Attack of the Seawolf, Donald I. Fine Books (New York, NY), 1992.
Phoenix Sub Zero, Donald I. Fine Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Barracuda: Final Bearing, Donald I. Fine Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Threat Vector, Onyx (New York, NY), 2000.
Terminal Run, Onyx (New York, NY), 2002.
Emergency Deep, Onyx (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Michael Benson) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Submarines, Alpha (Indianapolis, IN), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: After he left the Navy, former submarine officer Michael DiMercurio began drawing on his military experience to write thrillers about submarine commanders battling foreign countries from Russia to Japan. He "certainly knows his milieu," a New York Times Book Review contributor noted in a review of DiMercurio's third novel, Phoenix Sub Zero, and "he is a master of his materials." In DiMercurio's first novel, Voyage of the Devilfish, Commander Michael Pacino's mission is to tail the Kaliningrad, a new Russian submarine packed with top-of-the-line technology. However, as Pacino and his ship stalk the Kaliningrad through the Arctic Ocean, it becomes clear that the Russian submariners are not merely partaking in routine exercises, but are instead preparing a nuclear attack on the United States. It is an "uneven but exciting techno-thriller," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic, with "convincing depictions of cat-and-mouse games in the waters."
Commander Pacino receives a new command in the sequel, Attack of the Seawolf. In this novel, set in the near future, an American submarine is captured by Chinese Communists in the midst of a Chinese civil war. Pacino and the Seawolf, with a team of SEALs on board, set out for the Chinese coast to rescue the captured submarine's crew. The story is "convincing," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and DiMercurio "knows how to provide the necessary descriptions of modern submarine technology without obstructing his story line."
Phoenix Sub Zero is also set during a fictitious near-future war, in this case one between the United Islamic Front of God (thirty Muslim nations under the leadership of General Sihoud) and the Western Coalition (Europe and the United States). Sihoud has purchased a highly advanced submarine, the Hegira, from Japan, and with it he intends to launch a nuclear weapon at Washington, DC. After two Western submarines are sunk by the Hegira, Pacino and his Seawolf crew, plus another, damaged submarine captained by David "Sugar" Kane, are the last hope for stopping the attack. The tale was praised by critics; a Publishers Weekly reviewer called it "brisk" and "exciting," while Library Journal contributor Grant A. Fredericksen deemed it "an action-packed drama that seafaring buffs and general readers alike will enjoy."
The enemy is Japan in DiMercurio's fourth novel, Barracuda: Final Bearing. A Japanese spy uses technological tricks to gain access to another, newly independent country's nuclear missile site, intending to destroy the new nation's nuclear capability. However, the fallout from this attempt leads to United Nations action against Japan, including a naval blockade, and Pacino is called to help avert a war yet again. "Those who thrill to the blip of sonar and the thud of torpedos," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic, "will relish the author's latest deep-water dive."
In Terminal Run, Pacino's son Anthony's sub is sunk by the USS Snarc, a fully robotic, crewless submarine that has been hijacked. "The Michael Pacino series came to an 'operational pause' with Terminal Run," DiMercurio explained on his Home Page. His next novel, Emergency Deep, introduces a new hero, Peter Vornado. Vornado used to be a submarine commander, but a near-fatal illness ended his military career. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), however, thinks that they can put Vornado's skills and knowledge to good use. "There are times when I feel like Peter Vornado, with life taking me to a seeming dead end, and then there is a surprise in store," DiMercurio wrote. "I hope you'll all stay tuned, my friends. God alone knows what's in the next chapter."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, August, 1994, Grant A. Fredericksen, review of Phoenix Sub Zero, p. 126.
New York Times Book Review, August 28, 1994, review of Phoenix Sub Zero, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, June 15, 1992, review of Voyage of the Devilfish, p. 84; May 3, 1993, review of Attack of the Seawolf, p. 296; July 11, 1994, review of Phoenix Sub Zero, p. 65; January 1, 1996, review of Barracuda: Final Bearing, p. 60; September 23, 2002, review of Terminal Run, p. 57.
Michael DiMercurio Home Page, http://www.ussdevilfish.com (September 2, 2005).
SUBSIM Web site, http://www.subsim.com/ (June 4, 2000), Neal Stevens, "Threat Vector: Interview with Michael DiMercurio."