Night Run

Robert Denny, Author Dutton Books $21 (387p) ISBN 978-1-55611-336-9
``Night witches,'' the Germans called the Russian women who flew obsolete biplanes against the Wermacht under dubious cover of darkness during WW II. U.S. pilot Mike Gavin, who bails out over the Soviet Union just before his B-17 explodes, feels almost as negatively about female combat pilots--until he meets Lt. Galina Tarisova. Serving as a temporary volunteer with the Red Air Force, Mike flies Yak fighters and Stormovik attack planes against the Luftwaffe while courting Galina. Despite the unlikely premise, Denny ( Aces ) accurately depicts the relatively unknown air war over the Soviet Union. Although it can be gripping at times, the novel suffers from lack of focus: Denny takes much too long getting Mike to the Soviet Union, then distracts readers with a parallel--and predictable--plot line concerning the U.S. bomber offensive against Germany. More disciplined storytelling and sterner editing might have produced a top-flight WW II techno-thriller with an original perspective. Instead, Night Run proves to be a routine mission. ( Nov. )
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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