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A military coup in Russia leads to a swift invasion of former Soviet territories—while the US has been rendered powerless to respond—in this classic military technothriller.

In Russia, the military is anxious to assert its military strength and regain its role as a superpower. The Russian President refuses to greenlight a bold plan to disable American strategic nuclear capability and retake the Ukraine and the Baltic States, fearing the potential consequences of involving nuclear weapons. But the generals won’t have it and at their first opportunity, they overthrow the president in a military coup. Then they use a narrow window to initiate their bold plan—the Zolotov option—which will render all of America’s B2 bombers and ballistic missiles useless. With the US off the board, they swiftly invade the Ukraine with an overwhelming force, an invading army that even NATO can’t hope to resist.

The Big Thrill spent some time with bestselling author Rick Campbell to discuss his latest military thriller, TREASON:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

Characters first, as this is the 5th book in a series, and I’m contracted to include the same character set. Plot came next, as I’m a “plotter,” mapping out what happens in each chapter (typically 80-100) of each book.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I had to incorporate a tad bit of romance (gasp) into this military thriller, which isn’t my forte. I had to get help.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I served in the navy (Submarine Force) for 32 years and bring a great background to what I write—submarine thrillers.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

The biggest challenge was developing an engaging, exciting plot with my character set. It’s challenging because I hadn’t planned to write more than one book and the character set isn’t well designed for sequels, as some of the main characters are atypical for military thriller books.


Rick Campbell, a retired navy commander, spent more than thirty years in the navy, serving on four nuclear-powered submarines. On his last submarine, he was one of the two men whose permission is required to launch its nuclear warhead-tipped missiles.

Upon retirement from the navy, Rick was offered a two-book deal (which has been extended to six books) by Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press for his novel The Trident Deception, which was hailed by Booklist as “The best submarine novel written in the last thirty years, since Tom Clancy’s classic – The Hunt for Red October.” His first four books were Barnes & Noble Top-20 and Amazon #1 bestsellers, and his fifth book—Treason—releases in March 2019 at brick-and-mortar and Internet stores everywhere. Rick lives in the Washington, D.C. area and is currently working on the 6th book in the series, scheduled for a 2020 release.

To learn more about Rick, please visit his website.