3.93 (1,587 ratings by Goodreads)
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An enigmatic Russian spymaster makes contact with Jake Grafton in the aftermath of the savage attacks on the World Trade Center in New York to give him a warning. A disaffected Russian general has sold twenty tactical nuclear weapons, capable of being transported in suitcases, to a terror network within the US. The network's goal is nothing less than a deadly strike designed to destroy the US as a power. But this is no foreign group but an attempt to attack America from within. The search is on, and Jake Grafton is up to his eyes in agents and double agents, with time running out as he hunts for the weapons...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 108 x 178 x 38mm | 281.23g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0752842366
  • 9780752842363

Review Text

In this latest us-against-them from Coonts (America, 2001, etc.), terrorists are once again trying to smuggle nuclear weapons into the US. A Soviet general hard up for cash sells four aging nuclear warheads to an Islamic terrorist splinter faction, not realizing there's a mole in his operation. Back in D.C., never-really-retired Rear Admiral Jake Grafton meets up with Janos Ilin, a Russian spy who informs him that all four of those warheads are now on their way to America. Understandably peeved, Grafton informs the President (as gruff and flinty-eyed as Jake) and gets himself set up with a sort of Homeland Security department to take care of the matter. In Cairo, Anna Modin, who was Ilin's mole at the warhead sale, has to run from her job at a bank that launders money for terrorists. A Greek freighter that was carrying the warheads disappears completely, its entire crew presumably murdered. A cell of Arab terrorists lives quietly in a Florida motel, working at a nearby factory and trying not to be brainwashed by the decadent culture surrounding them while they await orders. Also running around Florida is a really, really angry Vietnamese sniper who's looking to hijack a bomb for himself so he can "kick these American bastards in the nuts." Meanwhile, Jake is cutting every corner he can think of and ordering the Army and Coast Guard into East Coast ports with radiation detectors. Of course, the Washington bureaucrats aren't too happy with ill-mannered Jake riding roughshod over their turf and work vigorously to defend it. And, of course, the FBI comes off as singularly incompetent and small-minded. Despite an occasional spark of action, on the whole this is a laborious, overplotted mess. Coonts aims for Clancy-like complexity (minus the techno-overkill) and is able to juggle his many storylines with relative accuracy, but it's all so routine that it's very difficult to care a whit about anything that goes on. Plodding, simple-minded post-9/11 thriller that rarely thrills. (Kirkus Reviews)
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About Stephen Coonts

Stephen Coonts is a former naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Vietnam War. His previous novels have been worldwide bestsellers. A former attorney, he resides with his wife and son in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Rating details

1,587 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 30% (473)
4 40% (640)
3 24% (386)
2 4% (66)
1 1% (22)
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