Sea Leopard (1981)
So it appears that David Grant has written his last book. Craig Thomas returns and reprises his Firefox plot. Only this time it's the British and NATO who are on the receiving end of a Russian operation.
The Royal Navy's submarine Proteus has been fitted with the latest anti-sonar electronics called Leopard and is sent on a top secret mission. The Russians are very aware of the sub and the threat that it poses. They launch two operations to try and get the secret of Leopard. KGB officer Petrunin who's based in the London embassy is trying to track down the inventor, Quin, who's gone on the run in England. Meanwhile the sub is captured and taken to a Russian navy base where the electronics will be examined.
So we have two stories unfolding here. In England we meet Patrick Hyde for the first time, an Australian-born, TR7-driving agent (think James Bondi) working for Aubrey. He's on the trail of the inventor, trying to get to him before the Russians do. The fact that he's on home ground is no help. The stakes are high and the KGB are everywhere.
Meanwhile a US Navy officer called Clark is sent into Russia to try and repair the Leopard system which will let the sub escape before the Russians can take it apart. Much of the submarine action takes place in the Arctic waters of the North Cape. We were here in Snow Falcon and will return for Firefox Down.
Out of his first ten books this is another one of my favorite three. It has subs and it has the Arctic.
First of what I call the 'Petrunin Trilogy'.