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Air Battle Force


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About the Author

Former US Air Force captain Dale Brown was born in Buffalo, New York. He was still serving in the US Air Force, where he was a navigator-bombardier, when he wrote his first thriller, Flight of the Old Dog. His most recent novels are The Tin Man, Battle Born, Warrior Class and Wings of Fire.


Starting with Flight of the Old Dog, Brown has written 14 novels about modern and future war with a focus on air war. In his latest, the Taliban have plans to take over oil-rich Turkmenistan, thus causing a global crisis. Maj. Gen. Patrick McLanahan and the Air Battle Force are tasked to stop them. An ensemble cast and fictitious high-tech weapons that Brown has used before make it almost imperative to have read at least some of Brown's other titles. There is plenty of action, along with acts of bravery, when the high-tech weapons inexplicably fail. An implausible beginning (McLanahan ignores orders, breaks rules, and nearly causes a major war but gets commended?), plus heavy techno-speak and poorly defined characters and plot, all make for a sub-par novel. And why does Brown have a "future war" begin last January and then apparently end a little while later, which would be the past? Fourteen novels is at least one too many. Recommended for larger collections only. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/03.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Clancy's got serious company.' New York Daily News 'When a former pilot with years of experience turns his hand to writing thrillers you can take their authenticity for granted. His writing is exceptional and the dialogue, plots and characters are first-class... far too good to be missed.' Sunday Mirror 'Dale Brown is a superb storyteller.' Washington Post 'The best military adventure writer in the country.' Clive Cussler

This absorbing techno-thriller follows the author's established pattern of fast action in the air and on the ground, its hard-driving protagonists equipped with an arsenal of futuristic hardware. Patrick McLanahan is back again, this time as air force major general in charge of the First Air Battle Force, a secret experimental unit with the controls to a jackpot of high-tech toys, among them air-retrievable bomb-carrying drones, venerable B-52s packing brand-new, high-powered lasers, and B-1s (called Vampires) capable of carrying out unmanned missions. Supporting McLanahan are a respectable company of the other continuing characters in the author's air force saga, which has acquired (like Clancy's Jack Ryan volumes) some of the attributes of an alternate history. These include Rebecca Furness, with her first star; maverick Daren Mace, still under a cloud and still in love with Rebecca; cigar-smoking acting Secretary of State Maureen Hershel; and charismatic ex-President Kevin Martindale. All collide when a Taliban raid into Turkmenistan leads to the overthrow of the Russian-backed Turkmen government. Eager to set things right, the Russian chief of staff engineers a military coup in Russia, pumping up the threat of war between Russia and the U.S. At the end, Brown (Wings of Fire, etc.) has deftly set up his next book, with Turkmenistan ruled by Jalaluddin Turabi, a former Taliban bandit and now a budding statesman, while the Russians bare their fangs over the not-unexpected destruction of their bombers by the Air Battle Force. Brown fans will declare this a page-turning delight. (One-day laydown May 13) Forecast: The ins and outs of high-tech war are of particular interest now, and Brown's latest effort-his first novel with Morrow, which is launching a major ad/promo campaign-should have no trouble scaling bestseller lists. Simultaneous Harper Audio and Harper Large Print editions; film rights sold to New Millennium. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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