Fresh off his success in the New York Times bestselling Countdown to Midnight, Nick Flynn finds himself once again facing a vicious enemy—one determined to destroy the United States.
When Nick Flynn left the US Air Force to join the Quartet Directorate, he did so with the full knowledge that no one could ever know. This covert private force—called Four by its members—promised him the chance to lead his own missions and make his own decisions, though the risks are high. When a former senior CIA executive goes dark, Flynn and his team—including the daring Laura Van Horn—are ready to step in. What begins as a quiet check on his home turns into a firefight against a familiar enemy who is more dangerous than ever.
Russian oligarch Pavel Voronin and his shadowy Raven Syndicate are back in action, supported by Russia’s aging and autocratic president. Voronin intends to unleash a new force of advanced stealth aircraft against the US in order to make Moscow supreme and cement his own rise to power. With millions of lives at stake, Flynn and his team must track Voronin’s operatives and mount a risky counterattack deep into hostile territory. If they fail, the consequences will be horrific. But failure isn’t an option—not for Nick Flynn.
Brown unleashes his typical blast of military action in this third Nick Flynn outing (after 2022's Countdown to Midnight), a scorchingly paced if predictable adventure about foiling a Russian nuclear attack on the United States. Flynn, a former intelligence agent now with a private security firm, smells a conspiracy while investigating the torture and death of a former CIA executive. Further digging brings him to Russian oligarch Pavel Voronin, who hopes his attempts to bring the U.S. to its knees will catapult him to the Russian presidency. With his daredevil colleague Laura Van Horn, Flynn determines that Voronin has partnered with a brutal Mexican drug cartel to launch a squadron of attack drones armed with nuclear bombs at a number of U.S. cities and military bases. The only way Flynn can stop the scheme is by destroying the fortified Cuban site where the drones are being remotely controlled. Brown employs his usual tools to placating effect: a laser-focused story line fueled by lively dialogue and lots of tech-heavy military action. As a leading man, Flynn is interchangeable with many of Brown's other red-blooded, can-do heroes, but he's likable company. This may not win Brown many converts, but his fans will be pleased.
Sloppy editing and problematic pacing
In describing the Russian nuclear control shelter was buried “Thirteen hundred kilometers west-northwest of Moscow, the snowcapped granite dome of Mount Kosvinsky Kamen rose more than fifteen hundred meters above the neighboring valley” in the Ural Mtns. But that distance WEST- NORTHWEST would place it at the bottom of the Baltic. That gross geographical error lessens credibility of any similar references.
More disturbing — and this seems typical for Brown but exaggerated here — was the speed pacing of the set-up to the climax was and how excruciatingly slow that climax dragged on at the end. I was thinking “end this already” and had to skim the last 100+ pages.
His worse book to date. Had to force myself to finish it.