cover image Sting of the Drone

Sting of the Drone

Richard A. Clarke. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04797-7

Insider knowledge of politics paired with amazing state-of-the-art technical details fuels this realistic nonstop action thriller, the best yet from Clarke (The Scorpion’s Gate). From the Global Coordination Center at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, the center’s director, CIA officer Sandra Vittonelli, oversees her roomful of drone pilots as they hunt down terrorists across the planet. Once a “Kill Call” to Washington officials establishes that a “High Value Individual” is a threat to the U.S. and eligible to be “droned,” the pilots fire missiles remotely from the unmanned planes and America is instantly that much safer. When a Pakistani tribal clan, al-Qaeda, a revenge-seeking terrorist, and two Ukrainian hackers join forces and declare war on the American drones, a deadly back-and-forth duel ensues, threatening the program and the lives of those who send the planes into the sky. Clarke, who served in the White House under presidents Reagan and Clinton (the latter appointed him as National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism), as well as both Bushes, has set the standard by which all such titles in this growing subgenre will be measured. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (May)