Fire Arrow

Franklin Allen Leib, Author Presidio Press $18.95 (350p) ISBN 978-0-89141-333-2
There has been a lot of publicity for this high-tech military thriller in the tradition of Tom Clancyrejected by several New York houses, then bought by a military publisher in California, with large paperback and BOMC sales to followand those who like this sort of book will probably buy it in sufficient quantities to justify these high expectations. It is a routine sort of plot, involving a planeload of U.S. military dependents hijacked by terrorists to a Libyan air base. A complex rescue operation involving every conceivable arm of the U.S. military is then mounted, there are complications involving the Russians, there is a spectacular climactic shoot-out, and World War III is only narrowly averted. This all comes at the reader in endless snippets, always with military time tags attached and enough technical know-how about equipment, tanks, weapons and firepower to fill a military training manual. There are also maps of the battles and strategic plans. Such books are more like war games for small boys than novels: characters are cutouts (the sex, not so suitable for small boys, is provided by a nubile Israeli army captain), the prevailing atmosphere is one of hearty male camaraderie, the top-level people in both Washington and Moscow are not to be trusted, and it's obvious that if all these military types could only fight it out together, cleanly (i.e., no politicians), the world would be a much better place. Emptier, certainly. 100,000 first printing; $600,000 paperback sale to Fawcett; BOMC featured selection. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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