- € 3,99
1972, North Vietnam. A vicious war is being fought on the ground, but in the skies above, life is perhaps even more precarious; especially for those flying the A-6 Intruders just above the treetops. Navy aviator Jake 'Cool Hand' Grafton and his bombardier-navigator Morgan 'Morg' McPherson are only too aware that each flight could be their last. And when a farmer's bullet hits Morg during an attack mission on yet another suspected truck depot, Grafton is forced to question whether these missions are really worth risking their lives for.
Grafton is next paired up with veteran bombardier Virgil 'Tiger' Cole, and it doesn't take long for the two to formulate a plan. They choose a new target: a Communist Party centre in Hanoi; an unauthorized mark that not only defies the American military's rules of engagement, but one that will require all the skill and nerve they can muster.
Told with an authenticity possible only from someone who has shared the experiences of his protagonist, Flight of the Intruder is widely considered a classic of naval aviation fiction. The first in the hugely popular Jake Grafton series, it also marked the beginning of Stephen Coonts' career as a bestselling author.
With this well-crafted first novel, the publishers of The Hunt for Red October again demonstrate a sure eye for picking winners in the thriller genre. Jake Grafton is an A-6 Intruder pilot during the Vietnam War who flies his bomber on sorties past enemy flak and SAM missiles, and then must maneuver his plane, often at night, onto the relatively small deck of an aircraft carrier. Former Navy flyer Coonts gives an excellent sense of the complexities of modern air raids and how nerve-wracking it is, even for the best airmen, to technically solve sudden problems over and over, knowing that even a twist of fatea peasant wildly firing a rifle from a fieldcould wipe out the crew. Grafton alternates between remorse over the fate of his unseen Vietnamese victims on the ground and a gung-ho "let's win this war'' sentiment that lashes at both policymakers who select less-than-important targets for the dangerous missions and advocates for peace back in the States. The action, though, is realistically detailed and absorbing. 75,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo.