"In Rules of Engagement, David Bruns and J. R. Olson deliver a captivating and utterly authentic portrayal of modern day combat that compares with the best of the timeless classics by Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, and Stephen Coonts. This one must not be missed!" —Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mission Critical
A terrorist breach of the computer systems of the three most powerful navies is about to set them on a collision course for World War III.
Rafiq Roshed is one of the most wanted men in the world. A terrorist with a virulent grudge against the West, he’s disappeared into North Korea where he quietly launches cyber sneak attacks in service of Kim Jong-un. But now he’s about to unleash his virtual masterpiece—a computer virus that, once inserted into the command systems of a military, not only takes over, but also learns the art of war. First penetrating the Chinese, he has their war machine launch a series of attacks on the U.S. Pacific forces.
Don Riley, head of U.S. Cyber Command, discovers that not only have the Chinese lost control of their military, but the same virus has infected the American network. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. loses control of its own military. His secret weapon in this war is a trio of supremely talented midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, who uncover the infiltration, and are working to track down the elusive terrorist.
But time is running out. China and Japan have lost control of their military and the U.S. is in danger of doing the same. The weapons are hot and the result is an ever-larger real-world conflict where casualties continue to mount. The only remaining hope is to find and stop the attack at its source—before time runs out.
Military thriller fans will find little new in Bruns and Olson's capable first novel. A Russian criminal enterprise known as the Bratva is losing money on its arms dealing business, so its leadership hires a terrorist, Rafiq Roshed, who's presently living and working in North Korea, to stir up trouble in the Far East to boost sales. Roshed, a psychopath with a grudge against the world because of the death of his beloved wife, is an expert in cyber warfare. He hacks into the computers of the Chinese, Japanese, and the American militaries, and begins pitting their respective forces against each other until WWIII looms. A team of cyber-genius midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., is assigned the job of finding the elusive Roshed and stopping the upcoming war. Bruns and Olson handle the action scenes well, but the surfeit of overly familiar characters and the shopworn plot will leave readers hoping that the authors will come up with something more original next time.