cover image Fatal Terrain

Fatal Terrain

Dale Brown. Putnam Adult, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14241-3

"" `It's nothing you haven't done before, General,' McLanahan said. `I know you've gone over the Mach at one hundred AGL in the B-1B, and you've shook off fighters in a B-52 down low before, too.' "" Readers whose pulse rises at sentences like that will find that Brown's (Storming Heaven) latest hymn to airborne death and destruction will get their engines up to full rev. Laden with acronyms like COMNAVAIRPAC and CINCPAC, full of stiffly worded patriotism (""And thank you for what you and Tiger Jamieson did over Iran and the Persian Gulf. You averted a major world oil crisis, and probably another Desert Storm. Job well done""), the narrative nevertheless manages to jet through a complex story involving a Chinese plot to retake Taiwan. Crippled by huge budget cuts, the Air Force looks hopeless in the face of this aggression--until a secret, private fleet of Megafortresses comes to the rescue. As usual, Brown's encyclopedic knowledge of everything military (and his boyish delight in putting it all down on paper) go a long way toward excusing his tinny dialogue and leaden prose. (June)