Hypersonic Thunder

Walter J. Boyne, Author . Forge $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0845-0

Boyne, former director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, delivers the final installment in his historical aerospace trilogy, after Roaring Thunder and Supersonic Thunder . Spanning from 1973 to 2007, the novel follows three generations of the fictional Shannon family, powerful players in the aerospace industry. Patriarch Vance, a WWI fighter pilot, established Aerospace Consultants, later run by his twin sons, Tom and Harry. Bob Rodriguez, ace pilot from the Korean War and “electronics genius,” runs the research and development arm. Conflicts quickly arise in the Shannons' personal and professional lives: Tom's wife, Nancy, takes the company's reins during his six years as a Hanoi POW; Harry is distracted from the business in caring for his alcoholic wife, Anna; and Bob faces divorce when his wife, Mae, grows tired of his workaholic habits. An even more colorful drama plays out in the background, with astonishing technological advances like GPS and space shuttles, and the machinations of real-life titans like Howard Hughes and Steve Fossett. Boyne's well-paced saga, with its technical slant, will surely appeal to aviation buffs. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-5403-7
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