Patrick McLanahan is back -- and this time he faces his most difficult challenge. He must pull together a team of aggressive, maverick young pilots to face a world on the brink of massive nuclear conflict.
It begins with a joint U.S.-Japanese-South Korean mock bombing raid. But the South Korean fighter pilots don't stick to the script. Instead, they race across the border into North Korea to support a massive people's revolt against the Communists.
Virtually overnight, the fledgling United Korea is the world's newest nuclear power, igniting a fuse that threatens to blow Asia apart and trigger World War III. Only McLanahan has the top-secret aviation technology and the brash young heroes to stop the coming inferno -- if he can get them to stop fighting each other and start fighting as a team before the world is reduced to cinders!
Last spotted on a singlehanded crusade against international terrorism in The Tin Man, veteran hero Patrick McLanahan, now a one-star general, is back at the head of a U.S. Air Force team in this 12th military techno-thriller from the ever-popular Brown. The general's crewAa motley gang of rule-breaking hotheads from the Nevada Air National GuardAis unorthodox, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It's April 2000, and a starving North Korean pilot has just tried to take out Seoul with nuclear weapons. This leads to the Second Korean War, as American flyers help their South Korean allies conquer a seriously weakened enemy. But a new united Korea is soon threatening China, and only McLanahan's team, flying Megafortress bombers equipped with sophisticated antiballistic missiles, can prevent nuclear conflict. Sidestepping obstructive air force bureaucracy and quelling the feuds smoldering among his pilots, McLanahan takes on the role of a renegade elder statesman in his latest foray, leaving most of the flying to his Nevada team, headed by Rinc "Rodeo" Seaver and Rinc's clandestine lover and commanding officer, Rebecca Furness. Seaver, accused of causing the deaths of three officers in a training maneuver, has a lot to prove, and it is his story that drives the personal subplot. Brown's strongest suit, however, has always been his ability to generate tension through high-wire aeronautics and technological breakthroughs, and in this tale he flourishes an ace: top secret plasma-yield warheads, subatomic weapons that silently vaporize their targets. His dialogue is as stilted as ever, and the acronym count as high, but Brown's poetry lies in his exhaustive tribute to the machinery of war, and fans will thrill to it once again in this solid addition to the series. Agent, Robert Gottlieb at William Morris. Simultaneous BDD audio. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 26, 2001
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Excerpt from Battle Born by Dale Brown
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY SUBCOMMITTEE, SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, RAYBURN BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C. "I hoped we'd never be facing this question again in my lifetime," the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, his voice serious. "But here it is. Looks like the devil's goin' to the prom, and we're praying he don't ask us to dance." The main part of the morning's classified, closed hearing had already concluded; the scientists and comptrollers had packed up their charts and spreadsheets, leaving only the subcommittee members, several general officers, and a few aides. This was the open debate portion of the session, a "chat session" where everything was fair game and the uniformed officers had a last chance to persuade. It was usually more casual and more freewheeling than formal subcommittee testimony, and it gave all involved a chance to vent their frustrations and opinions. "I'd say, Senator," Air Force General Victor G. Hayes, the chief of staff of the Air Force, responded, "that we've got no choice but to dance with that devil. The question is, can we keep him from only tipping over the punch bowl, or is he going to burn down the whole school gymnasium if we don't do something?" "You characterize the attacks on Taiwan and Guam as just a tipped-over punch bowl, General?" a committee member asked. General Hayes shook his head and wiped the smile from his face. He knew better than to try to get too chummy or casual with these committee members, no matter how plain-talking and down-home they sometimes sounded. This was the first time Victor "Jester" Hayes had testified before any committee in Congress. Although the Pentagon gave "charm school" classes and seminars to high-ranking officers on how to handle reporters, dignitaries, and civilians in a variety of circumstances, including giving testimony before Congress, it was simply impossible to fully prepare for ordeals like this. He did not feel comfortable here, and he was afraid it showed. Big-time. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Admiral George Balboa, was seated beside Hayes. The other members of the Joint Chiefs -- General William Marshall, Army chief of staff; Admiral Wayne Connor, chief of Naval Operations; and General Peter Traherne, commandant of the Marine Corps, along with senior deputies and aides -- were also seated at the table facing the subcommittee. Out of the corner of his eye, Hayes could see the barely disguised amusement on some of their faces. Balboa in particular seemed to be enjoying the sight of Hayes roasting a little in front of a congressional subcommittee. Screw 'em all, Hayes told himself resolutely. I'm a fighter pilot. I'm an aerial assassin. These congressmen may be high-ranking elected government officials, but they wouldn't understand a good fight if it kicked them in the ass. Be yourself. Show 'em what you got. As far as Balboa was concerned -- well, he was a weasel, and everyone knew it. He was virtually powerless, allowed to keep his position by the good graces of powerful opposition party members in Congress even though he publicly ambushed his Commander in Chief. "Forgive me for trying to take some of the doomsday tone out of this discussion, Senator," Hayes responded. "After two days of secret testimony on some of the new 'black' weapons programs we've included in the Air Force budget, I thought it might be time for a little break. But I assure you: this is a very serious matter. The future of the United States Air Force, and indeed the fate of our military forces and the nation itself, will be determined in the next several years by the decisions we make today. "I characterize the ballistic missile attacks on Taiwan and Guam by the People's Republic of China as a repudiation of thirty years of arms reduction efforts and a warning