Choosers of the Slain by James H Cobb (Throwback book)

This month for our Throwback book we’re diving into Choosers of the Slain by James H Cobb. It is a military thriller that left us on the edge of our seats and comes with a deadly political game of cat and mouse between the heads of state. 

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Choosers of the Slain

By James H. Cobb
Genre: Thriller
Series: Book One of the Amanda Lee Garrett thrillers

The strength of twice three thousand horse
That serve the one command;
The hand that heaves the headlong force,
The hate that backs the hand:
The doom-bolt in the darkness freed,
The mine that splits the main;
The white-hot wake, the ‘wildering speed—
The Choosers of the Slain!
—Rudyard Kipling: The Destroyers

Heavy caliber cannon fire rips across the harbour of a remote South Atlantic research station.

Worse is to come…

When Argentinian forces launch a lightning strike against the Antarctic peninsular, only a single US Navy destroyer stands between them and the country’s ambition to seize the continent’s rich resources for herself.

The USS Cunningham is sailing into hostile waters, untested, unsupported and far from home. But as the enemy will soon discover, the Cunningham is no ordinary warship, nor her Commander any ordinary Captain…

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookbub.

Review of Choosers of the Slain

Choosers of the Slain is one of my top five favorite books. A book I have read countless times. It was first published in 1996 with a different cover than is now available. This is the book I have. The cover is worn, and I gingerly turn the pages. Over the years, they have yellowed, and the glue in the spine has become fragile. 

It is my go-to, page-turner book when I want a read that keeps me enthralled, even though I could probably quote a lot of the text verbatim. 

Choosers of the Slain was the perfect choice for this month’s  Throwback book. The military war thriller fits with my Women at War Series, Spies, Pilots, and Snipers, and my article, The Day She Went Missing: The Search for Amelia Earhart. 

Argentina’s invasion of the Antarctic triggers a deadly political game of cat and mouse between the heads of state. 

Amanda Lee Garrett is the commander of a revolutionary new naval ship. The USS Cunningham, “The Duke,” is a ghost ship, a stealth ship able to alter its radar echo, masking its appearance. 

Docked in Rio De Janeiro, the Cunningham is the only available U.S. naval vessel to stop Argentina’s attempt to seize total control of the Antarctic. Garrett and her crew are ordered into Drake Passage’s harsh and unforgiving environment. A body of water connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the only access to the Antarctic. While the political battle is played out in the meeting rooms, Garrett and her crew face the realities of a deadly confrontation with Argentina’s military that has one objective; destroy the Cunningham. 

Against the backdrop of the ship’s technology, the hostile waters of Drakes Passage, and an incredible cast of characters, the action is non-stop.  I have always been drawn to books with strong female protagonists. The author’s portrayal of Amanda Lee Garrett hit all my marks. The first woman to take out a new ship, Garrett must battle the enemy, a new ship, and her untried crew, but also the stereotypes of a woman in a command position.

Other books in the The U.S.S. Cunningham Series

About the Author


James H. Cobb was an avid student of military history and technology. He was a member of the United States Naval Institute and the Navy League. 

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