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A true master of the action-packed geopolitical thriller, Richard Herman puts America in the middle of a two-front war where success is far from certain.The Last Phoenix
It is the beginning of a new century and Maddy Turner, the first woman to occupy the White House, is about to become a wartime president. The war on terrorism has been too successful; the radical Islamic states have devised a brilliant, unthinkable strategy and found a new ally in a surging China. They know the price will be high, but the prize is control of the vast Middle Eastern oil reserves and the strategic Strait of Malacca. By working in concert where timing is critical, they intend to create a new axis of world power by ensnaring the president's armed forces in a devastating double-pronged conflict -- a war the American military can no longer win.
Fueled by the failure of her intelligence agencies to foresee the unexpected, President Turner must react to a global crisis of world-altering proportions, as nightmarish scenes of brutal conflict and terrorism are played out half a world away. It will take courage, remarkable cunning, stealth, luck, and seemingly unbearable sacrifice to avoid Armageddon, as she approaches what will either be her finest hour or her most tragic mistake. But working below the radarscopes of Turner's antagonists is an ancient warrior on a quest of vengeance in the jungles of Malaysia. Victor Kamigami, a legend in the world of special operations, is a wild card no one knows is in play.
Fighting for reelection against a political enemy as unprincipled and determined as her foes on the battlefield, Turner must turn to the man she trusts above all others, perhaps the only one she can trust in the brutal snake pit of Beltway politics: Brigadier General Matt Pontowski -- himself the grandson of a president -- a brilliant flier and military tactician, and an intimate confidant of the most powerful woman on earth. The mission she must entrust him with is bold and extraordinary -- and potentially suicidal -- a daring incursion into the Malaysian jungle, where a small force of determined warriors must hold off a fearsome, overwhelming aggressor long enough for another war to be won. The risks are astronomical, the chance of success slim. But the alternative is unthinkable. And it is the only road America has left.
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A former weapons system operator, Richard Herman was a member of the United States Air Force for twenty-one years, until he retired in 1983 with the rank of major. He is the author of ten previous novels, including The Warbirds, Power Curve, Against All Enemies, Edge of Honor, and The Trojan Sea, all published by Avon Books. Herman currently lives and works in Gold River, a suburb of Sacramento, California.From Publishers Weekly:
Maestro of the military thriller, Herman (The Trojan Sea) offers a panoramic, jet-propelled epic long on battles, political intrigue and, unfortunately, tangential subplots. Reprising their roles from Edge of Honor, Maddy Turner, the beleaguered first female president of the United States, and her secret lover, retired air force general Matt Pontowski, are the heroes of this new novel, which opens in the near future with the president in the final months of a hard-fought reelection campaign. A sudden Chinese invasion of Malaysia is quickly followed by an attack on Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by an alliance of Iraq, Iran and Syria. Hampered by cut-to-the-bone peacetime budgets, the U.S. military doesn't have the resources to respond to wars on both fronts. When troops are dispatched to protect U.S. interests in the oil-rich Middle East, Maddy is left with no regular military to combat the Chinese and is forced to ask Matt to reactivate his old American Volunteer Group-a ragtag collection of pilots flying A-10 Warthogs-to hold back the Chinese until the regular military can be brought up to strength. The story cuts from Washington to Malaysia and other points on the globe in a rapid-fire montage. An expert at fast-paced action, Herman does a passable job keeping technobabble to a minimum, but there are too many bloodstained subplots with comic book characters. Matt's implausible escape and his heroics with a broken collarbone make the end more fizzle than bang.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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