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Based on the Armstrong Space Station orbiting the earth, the Black Stallion spaceplanes of General Patrick McLanahan's Aerospace Battle Force can attack any target on the planet within hours—and its powerful network of satellites can invade any computer network as easily as making a phone call. Western-educated Russian president Leonid Zevitin, one of the ABF's most dangerous adversaries, is determined to destroy all support for the space program by using a potent combination of top-secret anti-spacecraft weaponry, fear-mongering, and a new U.S. president's own egotism.
But McLanahan and his forces will not allow the Russian aggression to stand. Sensing deep-seated treachery, the general ignores directives from the White House and Pentagon and dispatches the ABF to attack secret Russian bases in Iran—which results in a presidential order for his immediate arrest. But before they can throw Patrick McLanahan in prison, the government will have to figure out how to retrieve him from his stronghold in space.
The U.S. is still recovering from the American Holocaust, a Russian air strike that killed and wounded thousands in 2004, at the start of this clunky techno-thriller from bestseller Brown (Strike Force). In 2009, Lieutenant General McLanahan, commander of the High Technology Aerospace Weapons Center, fears the Russians are covertly arming Iran, now known as the Democratic Republic of Persia. An immoral and weak U.S. president, Joseph Gardner, doesn't help the situation. Full of technical prose ( Skybolt was powered by a MHDG, or magnetohydrodynamic generator, which used two small nuclear reactors to rapidly shoot a slug of molten metal back and forth through a magnetic field to produce the enormous amount of power required by the laser ) and broadly drawn characters, from Gardner, who can't keep his pants on even during a global crisis, to Senate majority leader Stacy Anne Barbeau, who wields her cleavage in the interests of her constituents as well as national security, this novel will appeal to readers who care more about advanced weaponry than a plausible plot.