CHAMELEONS, A never-before-told saga.

The opening scene takes place within the cramped, steam room-like conditions of a two man Japanese midget submarine lying on the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor as if it were an animal waiting to pounce upon an unsuspecting prey. The date is Sunday, December 7, 1941. The time is just before eight in the morning and as the reverberations from aerial torpedo and bomb explosions rock the little submarine the two men jump to their controls and the midget sub comes to life.

The commander lines up the mighty battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma and launches two torpedoes, one at each ship. Disappointed the warhead striking the West Virginia proves to be a dud, they experience temporary elation when the second underwater missile rips apart the Oklahoma, causing her to capsize. The sight of white-clad sailors scampering over the side of the dying ship proves very sobering to the Commander and his engineer as elation is replaced with sadness and respect as the opening scene fades to black.

The second scene takes place at an ocean-front residential setting in present-day Kailua, Oahu.  A pair of laid-back Hawaiian excavators are installing a pool for a popular woman known by all in the neighborhood as “Auntie Lee.” When they discover a corpse clutching a strange looking pistol the work comes to a halt, causing “Auntie Lee” a great deal of consternation for she plans to host a party for the high school graduation of her favorite grandson the following month.

A US Navy investigative team is called upon to determine the identity of the skeleton and soon discover they are looking at the engineer of the Japanese midget submarine, I-16-tou, the very submarine responsible for sinking the Oklahoma, presenting them with a significant mystery: What happened to the midget submarine’s commander? Word of the mysterious skeleton is leaked to a local newspaper which sends their most aggressive reporter, Lani Gale, to investigate.

The Commander, still alive and living in retirement on Oahu, reads the newspaper story and realizes there is a race between the Navy and Gale to find him. Convinced he will be located and his world shattered, he makes a decision to relate his life story to his Annapolis-bound grandson rather than have him read about his arrest in the paper. The telling of his true history, beginning in pre-war Japan, through internment in Honolulu and California, the Korean Conflict and into the present-day is interspersed with the progress of the Navy and Gale as they hunt him down.

The concluding scenes comprise a dizzying sequence of events which tie up all the loose ends and sets up the sequels.

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Chameleons…an ending you do not see coming, unless…

I researched this book over a period of many months. In the process I read and made notes from the six books that I could find, on topic, including the book written by Prisoner of War Number One, Kazuo Sakamaki, captured on the morning of December 8, 1941, while sleeping on an Oahu beach. I also accumulated a large volume of web-based research and updated the research continuously. It was a couple of years after I wrote the Screenplay that the U.S. Navy confirmed the I-16-tou had, indeed, sought refuge in West Loch. I reached that conclusion in 2009, based on all I learned about the commander of the I-16-tou.

Before I wrote the first word of Chameleons I already knew the story I was about to relate, including the ending. However, it was not until I saw the potential for spin-offs, beginning with Geographic Treachery, did I return to the manuscript to add a chance meeting with the two antagonists who take the series to new heights of cunning, cold-blooded murder and revenge for actions that took place in the 20th Century.

So those of you who guessed the two men Admiral Reardon meets at Colonel Nat’s will be seen again, guessed correctly. You can count on them being complex and cold-hearted, yet I don’t just present them without developing their backgrounds. Though I will say you will not discover the motivations behind “the Aussie” until you read the third novel, Vigorous Brutality. And yes, the action remains in Hawaii, centering on the Big Island, in particular.

Throughout Chameleons I inserted small clues about the ending. I also worked hard to bring the reader to understand Ken Kida and stand in his shoes. From the comments I gathered pre and post publication, the readers are experiencing the exact emotions Ken, his wife and grandson felt towards the end of the book. I could not give much away and still retain a separation of Lt. Commander Pastwa’s team and Admiral Reardon. At the same time I revealed more about Admiral Reardon than I had done in the entire book to that point. Just wait to you see what he does in Geographic Treachery!

Thank-you,

Marcus Nannini

To read one of the many excellent and detailed reviews of Chameleons, go here:

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Chameleons, not just another war story.

chameleons-demi-gods

The I-16-tou, a Japanese midget submarine, successfully penetrated Pearl Harbor early on the morning of December 7, 1941. It launched 2 torpedoes, one of which turtled the mighty U.S.S. Oklahoma. Eventually the 2 man Crew abandoned their badly damaged little submarine in West Loch. They swam ashore, connected with pre-arranged contacts and melded into the population as if human Chameleons. This is their story.          EBook:   http://www.books2read.com/MarcusNannini

For a Full Review: http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=42284

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chameleons-oklahoma-sunk-2-better

The U.S.S. Oklahoma, sunk by I-16-tou.

CHAMELEONS, an underwater look at the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

One Japanese midget submarine successfully penetrated Pearl Harbor early on the morning of December 7, 1941. It launched 2 torpedoes, one of which turtled the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Eventually the 2 man Crew abandoned their badly damaged little submarine in West Loch. They swam ashore, connected with pre-arranged contacts and melded into the population as if human Chameleons.

CHAMELEONS SYNOPSIS

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.

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 U. S. Pacific Fleet. The sub’s commander and engineer are asleep and 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 and 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 takes place in 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. Her newspaper begins publishing a series of 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 drives up. Suspecting he may soon be arrested, Ken Kida 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 steadily hunting him down.

When Lt. Commander Pastwa and Lt. Yamura turn up at Ken Kida’s front door, he, Sun and Gary believe their world is about to be shattered. However, a series of events unfold over the following twenty four hours creating a surprise ending while introducing the two main antagonists featured in the subsequent novels in my series, Geographic Treachery and Vigorous Brutality.

 ISBN: 0692814353

ISBN 13: 9780692814352

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CONTROL NUMBER: 2016920544

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First blog post

CHAMELEONS, A World War II Mystery/Suspense Novel presents a new twist to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Now available in paperback and e-book format at BARNES & NOBLE, AMAZON and fine booksellers everywhere.

Chameleons’ approach to the “date which will live in infamy” is from the seldom-seen perspective of an Imperial Japanese Navy midget submariner. The author sets forth a strong argument that members of the Imperial Japanese Navy succeeded in melding into the local Japanese population, never to be discovered.Nannini transports the reader from the image of sailors crawling for their lives over the hull of the capsizing U. S. S. Oklahoma, into modern day Oahu, and points in between with seamless transitions

In focusing on who, perhaps, is the ultimate “illegal alien” Marcus Nannini turns our attention to Lieutenant (junior grade) Masaharu Yokoyama. Yokoyama was the most qualified of the five midget submarine commanders who were sent to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was charismatic, courageous, focused and lived by the words: “Vision, Spirit, Patience and Honesty.”

Nannini transports the reader from the image of sailors crawling for their lives over the hull of the capsizing U. S. S. Oklahoma, into modern day Oahu, and points in between with seamless transitions as the life of Yokoyama is peeled open for inspection. Nannini uses no fewer than 16 images to bring to life the people and events depicted in this harrowing tale of bravery in the face of nearly overwhelming odds.

It is a story of fortitude, questioning moral certainty, duty, honor, and, above all, doing the right thing without regard to potential negative consequences.

What they are saying:

“A well-written novel requires an author to master many skills.  For me, the most important is to keep the reader so engrossed that he or she finds it hard to take a break.  Based on this…, Chameleons is such a story.” Don Westenhaver, Southern California Writers Association.

“Overall, I thought it was a great story. I liked your transitions and use of flashbacks, as well as your approach for the presentation of Chameleons.” John Bean, EBooks2Go.

“Chapter Fourteen (the Plank Bar) is the best chapter of any book I’ve ever read.” David S. Mathias, Rebel Woodworking.

About the Author, Marcus A. Nannini:

Marcus Nannini began his journalistic career when he published his own newspaper in the sixth grade, charging twenty five cents for the privilege of reading the only printed copy of each edition. During his undergraduate years Nannini was a paid reporter and worked three semesters as the research assistant for journalism professor and published author Richard Stocks Carlson, Ph.D.

Nannini is a life-long history buff with a particular interest in World War II and the Pearl Harbor attack. His continuing curiosity over several Japanese aerial photographs and the turtling of the U.S.S. Oklahoma lead him to write Chameleons, first as a screenplay and now as a full-length novel.

More than four months of research were devoted to Chameleons, underscoring Nannini’s efforts to painstakingly recreate the experiences of his protagonist, “Ken Kida,” both prior to, and following the Japanese attack on that fateful Sunday morning, December 7, 1941.

Nannini has six World War II non-fiction magazine articles appearing in World at War and Strategy and Tactics magazines in the near future. His next novels in the series, Geographic Treachery and Vigorous Brutality, will soon be available.

COPYRIGHT MARCUS A. NANNINI, 2017-2019

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