cover image Drone Threat

Drone Threat

Mike Maden. Putnam, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-17399-8

In Maden’s prescient fourth Troy Pearce novel (after 2015’s Drone Command), the former CIA Special Operations Group officer returns to government service when President David Lane taps him to head his new Drone Command agency. The assignment comes just in time, as a drone has landed on the White House lawn with a message from ISIS: fly the black flag of the Islamic State over the executive mansion, or be “destroyed in a storm of unquenchable fire.” When the president categorically refuses, a series of attacks follows. The strikes—clever, elaborate, and potentially catastrophic—are curiously absent of the casualties that ISIS is known for. While the members of Lane’s inner circle, some operating on duplicitous agendas, argue for all-out retaliatory war, Pearce futilely urges restraint. Maden, who has a master’s and a Ph.D. in political science, brings a nuance to these bureaucratic machinations that’s often absent from the typical political thriller, and his drone pilot villain is as memorably evil as they come. [em]Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) [/em]