Shattered Bone

Chris Stewart, Author M. Evans and Company $21.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-87131-831-2
We learned from a recent John Travolta movie that ""broken arrow"" is the military code for a stolen nuclear missile. Now we discover, in this sputtering first thriller by U.S. Air Force Major Stewart, that ""shattered bone"" is code for ""the theft, hijacking or unauthorized flight of a B1-B bomber loaded with nuclear weapons."" Stewart (who set world time, distance and speed records for B-1s in 1995) writes about flying with grace and power, but his prose stalls when it comes to character and plot. Battling the imperialist plans of a new Russian premier, Ukrainian leaders deploy one of their deepest moles, 29-year-old U.S. Air Force Captain Richard Ammon. The secret agent disappears after an apparent mid-air explosion, then resurfaces in Ukraine, where he is recruited to steal a B1-B and use it to destroy Russia's still-active missile sites. Feeling some (justified) distrust of Ammon, the Ukrainians take his American wife hostage--soon Ammon finds himself fighting to save her from her captors and the U.S. from nuclear war. A more sophisticated, experienced writer might have pulled off such a doozy of a setup; regrettably, despite wonderful airborne action scenes, Stewart's albatross of a narrative loses all its strength as soon as it touches the ground. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-451-40857-0
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