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Chameleons, An Untold World War II Story
CHAMELEONS, An Untold World War II Story SYNOPSIS (Abridged Version) ISBN: 9781612968896 MARCUS A. NANNINI The Japanese midget submarine I-16-tou is hiding on the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor waiting to release its deadly twin-warheads against the battleships of the United States Pacific Fleet. The sub’s commander and engineer are asleep, drenched in sweat, as are the walls of the iron coffin-like midget submarine. Awakened by the shock waves of aerial bomb and torpedo strikes the two men jump to the controls to begin final maneuvers as they target the battleships U. S. S. West Virginia and Oklahoma. While the torpedo strike into the West Virginia proves to be a dud, the second torpedo dramatically explodes and tears a thirty eight foot wide hole in the Oklahoma’s already damaged port side, causing her to immediately roll over. Chapter two whisks the reader into present day Kailua, Oahu with the accidental discovery of a mysterious skeleton while excavating a residential pool. A team of United States Navy investigators spearheaded by Lt. Commander Christopher Pastwa and Lt. Karen Yamura are under a mandate from their admiral, Roman Reardon, to quickly solve the mystery. Much to their chagrin they soon discover the skeleton belongs to the engineer of the I-16-tou. The midget sub’s logbook is recovered from the grave and indicates the commander of the sub was still alive days after the Pearl Harbor attack and living amongst the Japanese-American population, contrary to navy dogma. As the team begins what will prove to be a difficult and frenetic search, Lani Gale, a Honolulu newspaper reporter learns of the grave’s contents. Using unscrupulous methods she covertly acquires information her newspaper begins publishing in the form of a series of explosive front page stories and offers a $100,000 reward for anyone with information leading either to a still-alive midget sub commander or his death certificate. A race is on between the navy team and an unscrupulous Gale to learn what became of the commander. Ken Kida, the commander of the midget submarine and living under an assumed name, is now an elderly retiree. He and his Korean wife are anxiously reading the front page story when their grandson, Gary, drives up. Suspecting he may soon be arrested, Ken relates his life story to Gary through a series of flash-backs and narratives which are interspersed with the present-day progress of the Navy and Lani Gale, who are relentlessly hunting him down. When Pastwa and Yamura turn up at Ken’s front door, he, Sun and Gary believe their world is about to be shattered. A series of events rapidly unfold over the following twenty four hours which create a surprise ending as myriad loose ends fall into place. The two primary antagonists featured in the subsequent novels in the series, Geographic Treachery and Vigorous Brutality, are also introduced late in Chameleons, alerting the reader there is more to come. Be sure to look for Marcus Nannini’s WW II non-fiction book: Dinner with Himmler, and his WW II nonfiction stories in World at War and Strategy and Tactics magazines. ISBN: 9781612968896
Reviews
A shocking present-day discovery on Oahu sparks an investigation into the aftermath of the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Nannini’s well-researched thriller. As two workers excavate earth for a backyard pool, they call in the police after coming across a skeleton gripping a pistol. Further digging reveals a small metal box bearing the insignia of the Imperial Japanese Navy. That evidence leads the local authorities to pass the matter along to the U.S. Navy, which assigns Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Pastwa and Lt. Karen Yamura to identify the remains and the circumstances of their burial. The pair focus on the box’s contents, a logbook purported to have been written by someone who manned a Japanese midget submarine that torpedoed the battleship Oklahoma and, later on Dec. 7, 1941, made his way onshore. Pastwa and Yamura prove able detectives as they follow the very cold trail to a satisfying resolution of the mystery. WWII buffs will find much to like. (BookLife)

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