cover image The Red Line

The Red Line

Walt Gragg. Berkley, $17 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-0-425-28345-5

Set in the near future, Gragg’s impeccably researched, riveting first novel pits a revived Soviet Union against NATO. Russia’s brutal dictator, Comrade Cheninko, has built on a resurgence of power begun under Vladimir Putin and reconstituted the Warsaw Pact. A new cold war is about to become a hot one. Cheninko’s top general, Valexi Yovanovich, has developed a brilliant plan to deceive the enemy and conquer Germany in a mere five days. An extensive cast of well-drawn men and women on both the American and Russian sides provides a personal dimension to the big-picture view of the clash of massive armies. Gragg, a Vietnam War veteran who served at the United States European Headquarters in Germany, gives readers a horrifying look at the devastation of modern warfare from the smallest, most painful details to the frighteningly plausible global scenarios that could result in the death and devastation of a significant portion of our planet. This is must reading for any military action fan. Nearly every page reeks of the smoke of battle and the stench of death. Agent: Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency. (May)