Retribution

R. J. Pineiro, Author Forge $23.95 (383p) ISBN 978-0-312-85940-4
Arab nuclear terrorism on American soil isn't a new premise (Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre used it to bestselling effect in 1980's The Fifth Horseman, featuring Col. Muammar Khadafy as the villain), but Pineiro manages to wring an exciting techno-thriller about it nonetheless. Here the villain is Saddam Hussein, who vows revenge against President Clinton a year after American forces, including Navy Lt. Kevin Dalton--as detailed in the author's Ultimatum--have destroyed the tyrant's budding nuclear arsenal. Using contraband material from Ukraine, Iraqi terrorists plot to nuke three American cities, ``retribution'' for a nuking of Iraq, secretly by Saddam's own forces but blamed on the U.S. Dalton, now with the CIA, becomes involved stateside in the desperate search for the weapons and terrorists, although much of the novel's latter action focuses not on his quest but on the efforts in Iraq of older CIA hand Donald Bane and young Marine pilot Diane Towers to end Saddam's nuclear threat for good. Pineiro isn't the world's smoothest writer, but he knows how to wave a flag (``For as long as he could remember, President Bill Clinton had stood up for what he believed was right, regardless of the consequences''), and thriller fans should turn these pages at a fast clip, although they'll arrive at a wrap-up that's overly tidy and drenched in sentiment. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
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Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0901-2
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