Coonts's third novel is a clever and unlikely paradox--a techno-thriller with a low-tech bias, at its best when indicting ``techno-junk.'' Here he brings back Navy Captain Jake Grafton from what seemed certain death in Final Flight to take charge of developing a new tactical aircraft, the Minotaur, that depends on a variant of Stealth technology. Not only must Grafton tackle a prevailing mind-set equating elaborate gadgetry with combat performance, he must also cope with an information leak at the highest levels of the Defense Department labyrinth. Coonts is most compelling when he focuses on the politics of design and procurement; his comparisons of Navy and Air Force procedures are admirably sharp-edged. The parallel plot involving the Minotaur's exposure is also effective despite some sacrifice of clarity for suspense. Since neither the living room nor the bedroom is his metier, however, domestic descriptions slow the narrative. But Coonts retains the ability to write standout techno-thrillers, making this a winter-season favorite in its category. First serial to Playboy; BOMC selection; author tour. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989 Release date: 09/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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