cover image Ghost Force

Ghost Force

Patrick Robinson, . . HarperCollins, $25.95 (418pp) ISBN 978-0-06-074691-9

Set in 2011, this disappointing techno-thriller from bestseller Robinson (Hunter Killer ) focuses on a proxy war between the United States and Russia. Russia's fear that Siberia, its prime source of oil, might move further away from its control and even possibly begin supplying the Chinese, leads its spies to carry out a brazen assassination in the White House and to incite Argentina to recapture the Falkland Islands, where oil has recently been discovered. But even that improbable plot soon becomes subservient to a clichéd rescue mission by U.S. Navy SEALS to save some British counterparts left behind after the Argentine invasion. None of the characters has much life, and enough details fail to ring true to make suspension of disbelief a challenge. Thriller fans interested in such topical issues as the current conflict in Iraq, the global war on terror and concerns that Iran and North Korea will become nuclear powers will have to look elsewhere. (May)