Argon Furnace

Graves, Author, Richard L. Graves, Author Scarborough House Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8128-4007-0
Graves's latest action-adventure novel (after C.L.A.W. ), is set in 1942. The Japanese have developed a new steel alloy, fired in an argon furnance, that will allow them to build jet engines. A team of American saboteurs comes ashore from a submarine--and destroys the wrong steel mill. To go back and complete the mission in the face of a now-alerted enemy almost certainly means death, but brave men may not have a choice. We have all read this book before, or seen the movie, though Graves does add an interesting touch by making most of the raiders nisei. Apart from that, the novel's dialogue and plot are relentlessly predictable. Characters are from central casting: the tough sergeant, the intellectual reluctant to kill, the college football hero, and all the rest. Yet the novel succeeds, within limits, because it is unpretentious. Graves tells his war story with no frills, no complexities and--refreshingly--no compulsion to spatter his pages with unnecessary gore. While his grasp of military detail is shaky at times, his scenario is credible and his action scenes are dynamic. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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