Shadows of Steel
The new Gulf War is erupting, and this one will be far bloodier than the first. A newly powerful Iran is flexing its military muscle in the Middle East. The Iranians have declared the Persian Gulf their territorial waters-and an American ship has just been sunk to prove the point.
With a military racked by budget cuts and a public reluctant to fight, the president must end the crisis before it escalates. The solution: Project Future Flight, a surgical stealth campaign to silence Iran’s modern weapons. The personnel: Colonel Patrick McLanahan and the surviving crew of the Old Dog. The stakes: success-or full-scale war…
Author Dale Brown
Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown is the superstar author of 24 best-selling action-adventure “techno-thriller” novels: FLIGHT OF THE OLD DOG (1987), SILVER TOWER (1988), DAY OF THE CHEETAH (1989), HAMMERHEADS (1990), SKY MASTERS (1991), NIGHT OF THE HAWK (1992), CHAINS OF COMMAND (1993), STORMING HEAVEN (1994), SHADOWS OF STEEL (1996), FATAL TERRAIN (1997), THE TIN MAN (1998), BATTLE BORN, (1999), WARRIOR CLASS (2001), WINGS OF FIRE (2002), AIR BATTLE FORCE (2003), PLAN OF ATTACK (2004), ACT OF WAR (2005), EDGE OF BATTLE (2006), STRIKE FORCE (2007), SHADOW COMMAND (2008), ROGUE FORCES (2009), EXECUTIVE INTENT (2010), A TIME FOR PATRIOTS (2011), and TIGER’S CLAW (2012). His 25th novel, entitled STARFIRE, is scheduled for release in early 2014. He is also the co-author of the best-selling DREAMLAND techno-thriller series and writer and technical consultant of the Act of War PC real-time strategy game published by Atari Interactive, and the Megafortress PC flight simulator by Three-Sixty Pacific. Dale’s novels are published in 11 languages and distributed to over 70 countries. Worldwide sales of his novels, audiobooks, e-books, and computer games exceed 15 million copies.
Dale was born in Buffalo, New York on November 2, 1956. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Western European History and received an Air Force commission in 1978. He was a member of the first class of Air Force ROTC cadets to qualify for and complete the grueling three-week U.S. Army Airborne Infantry paratrooper training course at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1977.
Dale was a navigator-bombardier in the B-52G Stratofortress heavy bomber and the FB-111A supersonic medium bomber, and an instructor on aircrew life support and combat survival, evasion, resistance, and escape. He is the recipient of several military decorations and awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Combat Crew Award, and the Marksmanship ribbon.
Dale is a command pilot in Angel Flight West, a group that volunteer their time, skills, and aircraft to fly needy medical patients free of charge to receive medical treatment. Dale is also a mission pilot and deputy squadron commander in the Civil Air Patrol, which performs search and rescue, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, surveillance, and many other missions in support of the U.S. Air Force and other federal agencies. He supports a number of organizations to promote law enforcement, education, literacy, and support for military veterans and their families.
Dale Brown is a Life Member of the Air Force Association, U.S. Naval Institute, and National Rifle Association. He is a multi-engine and instrument-rated private pilot and can often be found in the skies all across the United States, at the controls of his Cessna P210 Centurion. On the ground, Dale is a youth soccer referee and referee instructor and enjoys tennis and scuba diving. Dale, his wife Diane, and son Hunter live near Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
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One of the special pleasures of constructing a techno-thriller seems to be the opportunity to predict one's own version of world affairs. In an unusually thoughtful entry set in early 1997, shortly after the events of his novel Day of the Cheetah (1989), Brown (Storming Heaven) takes time to explore such issues as the thin line separating special operations from terrorism and the role of the warrior in a supposedly peaceful world. The Iranians are at it again, attacking a U.S. spy ship. When American personnel are taken captive, President Kevin Martindale (a Brown regular) realizes he must act. As is usually the case with this genre (and perhaps real-life politics), the president and his military advisors decide to rely upon high-tech aircraft and weaponry to destroy the enemy's war-making capabilities, some of which, in this case, have come by way of China. A B-52 stealth bomber flown by returning Brown hero Patrick McClanahan is the center of the action that whirls from prison cells through a coup d'etat, climaxing in air encounters of the radar kind. Brown is a master of this school of fiction, bringing life to his characters with a few deft strokes. More than just a military thriller, this novel offers disturbing descriptions of possible political developments that are worthy of discussion. FYI: In an author's note, Brown says he will welcome e-mail with comments on the novel, at OldDog01@aol.com.
Shadows of steel
Great read. Every page is a thrill.
Dale, Dale ...
I am and remain a Dale Brown reader and fan. "Shadows of Steel," however, was not his best work.
Or, rather, just not as good as it could have been. I realize I'm reading this 18 years after it was written, but c'mon, bro—this should have had fewer cardboard characters and less reliance on each porn.
Brown, as always, holds a commanding grasp of the technology and its nomenclatures, but just knowing the military name of a device tells us little about the men who use it. I wanted less repetitive description of the same devices—or reminders of "the 12-man Council of Guardians"—and more about the impact of the story.
If this was a movie, I'd call it a rental. Recommendation? Go find "Flight of the Old Dog" and read his first and still best story.