What could possibly go wrong if Congress manages to approve the ICBM missile defense shield being pushed by the White House? This master of the techno-thriller spins a bone-chilling worst-case scenario involving international spies, military heroics, conniving politicians, devious agencies, a hijacked nuclear sub, lethal computer hackers, currency speculators, maniac moguls and greedy mercenaries that rivals Clancy for fiction-as-realism and Cussler for spirited action. Rear Adm. Jake Grafton is shocked, as are his fellow Russian and European observers, when a satellite for the SuperAegis missile shield goes out of launch mode and is lost in seconds. Moments later, the state-of-the-art nuclear submarine America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub is armed with Tomahawk missiles with "Flashlight" warheads capable of frying all unprotected electronics within miles of detonation, crippling target cities. Jake suspects Janos Ilin and his Russian bosses, and forms a shaky "alliance" to test Ilin while digging for info. Meanwhile, Tommy Carmellini, a convicted felon with a talent for burglary that got him "recruited" by the CIA, tumbles onto a dastardly agency plot and secretly cues Jake. When American Tomahawks launched on Washington paralyze the city the whole East Coast lapses into chaos, the dollar plunges, and Jake's team, led by streetsmart black marine Gen. "Flap" LeBeau, goes into overdrive. Perennial bestseller Coonts (Hong Kong; Flight of the Intruder) never lets up with heart-racing jet/missile combat, suspenseful submarine maneuvers and doomsday scenarios that feel only too real, providing real food for thought in his dramatization of the missile-shield debate. (Aug. 14)
Forecast:This timely tale starring the crowd-pleasing Jake Grafton will hit the lists with a vengeance. A major ad/promo campaign is scheduled, and an excerpt will run in the paperback edition of Hong Kong.
Release date: 07/01/2001