Kevin D. Randle, . . Tor, $25.95 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86710-2

With its by-the-numbers plot and stock characters, ufologist Randle's first novel is strictly for readers who can't get enough of the many permutations of the Roswell legend. On June 30, 1947, scientists meet at the Pentagon with Major General Curtis LeMay of Army Air Force Research and Development to view top secret photos of a strange "flying disk" taken by a pilot on a training flight over Arizona. Faced with the possibility of arousing aliens with superior technology, President Truman warns LeMay to leave the UFOs alone, but LeMay is more concerned with gaining that technology to use against the Russians in the escalating Cold War. On July 4, one of LeMay's pilots manages to shoot down a UFO outside the small town of Roswell, N.Mex., and the race is on to learn as much as possible about the craft and its crew before the news leaks to the rest of the world. The sole survivor of the crash is taken to "Over the Rainbow," a secret Army laboratory in the Nevada desert, to be studied by scientists. Little do they know that LeMay has authorized the use of an atomic bomb to destroy the facility and everyone inside it if anything goes wrong. Of course, things do go wrong, allowing Randle to push this thin-but-brisk suspense story into overdrive for an explosive climax. SF readers are unlikely to be impressed by this Roswell rehash, but fans of fast-paced thrillers should enjoy the ride. (Sept. 24)

FYI:Randle is also the author of the bestselling UFO Crash at Roswell and other nonfiction titles on alien abduction.