Phantom Leader

Mark Berent, Author Putnam Publishing Group $21.95 (414p) ISBN 978-0-399-13603-0
In this Vietnam-era sequel to Rolling Thunder and Steel Tiger , Berent takes his well-established characters into the period of the Tet Offensive. Fighter pilot Court Bannister and forward air controller Toby Parker are assigned to form a new unit for a new mission: flying high-performance fighters as ``fast forward air control'' to interdict night movement of supplies and reinforcements down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Special Forces lieutenant-colonel Wolf Lochert continues to fight his war on the ground--much of it against trumped-up charges of murdering an enemy agent. The novel's real antagonists, indeed, are less the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong armed forces than the ignorant politicians and malevolent activists back in the U.S. Berent's flogging of this familiar theme sacrifices impact for repetition. But Berent remains without peer in the battle zone, describing the dynamics of an air war waged in a restrictive environment against a determined enemy. And his stomach-turning--and essentially accurate--depictions of the treatment of American pilots in Vietnamese captivity are timely reminders that there is no such thing as a Nintendo war. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-1-4165-0414-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 433 pages - 978-0-515-10785-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56431-071-2
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