The Iskra Incident

Jimmie H. Butler, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24898-9
In the near future, an aircraft bringing a high-ranking Soviet delegation to the signing of an arms limitation treaty crashes into the Pacific, off San Francisco. Was it an accident? Was the plane shot down by a rogue U.S. fighter pilot? Or did the disaster camouflage something more sinister? Air Force Colonel Jack Philips, assigned to investigate the incident, finds himself in the middle of Iskra, a plot that involves tampering with the forces of nature to create conditions for a nuclear strike on the U.S. Like other techno-thrillers currently in the publishing pipeline, this one has been in good part overtaken by recent events; but even on the novel's own terms, the Soviet conspiracy isn't quite credible. Butler, however, tells a first-rate story. A retired Air Force pilot, he enhances verisimilitude with details of air traffic control, maritime salvage and rescue operations and institutional infighting, sustaining suspense by unfolding Iskra's details with a subtlety as welcome as it is unusual in a first novel. Even the most critical readers will relish the adventure. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 501 pages - 978-0-451-17083-5
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