First Air: A Novel of Air Combat in the Persian Gulf

Michael Skinner, Author Presidio Press $19.95 (403p) ISBN 978-0-89141-351-6
In the alternate near-future of this techno-thriller, a desperate Iranian government destroys Baghdad with a nuclear bomb. A U.S. reaction force dropping on Bandar Abbas airport is ambushed by an elite squadron of Eastern-bloc pilots. As the surviving paratroopers fight for their lives, two carrier air wings are decimated. None of the Gulf states will risk becoming Iran's second target by allowing U.S. bases on their territory. This sets the stage for the 1st Air Regiment--an ad hoc gang of gung-ho pilots from around the world, fighting in their mismatched planes under the banner of a maverick sheik, and led by the hottest fighter jock of them all: the legendary Bobby Dragon. As the regiment wins command of the air over the Persian Gulf, Skinner's first novel promises to become a worthy successor to the great 1930s aviation pulps. But Skinner, having initially captivated readers with the saga of Dragon and his comrades, tries to do too much. With a shift in focus from action to intrigue, the story thrashes to an unsatisfactory conclusion in a morass of improbable conspiracies. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71700-2
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