Dead Hand

Harold Coyle

Published by Forge Books, 2009
ISBN 10: 0765363879 / ISBN 13: 9780765363879
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Forge Books Pub Date: 4/28/2009 Binding: Paperback Pages: 384 First edition. Bookseller Inventory # 3487116

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Synopsis:

When an unforeseen asteroid strikes Siberia with the force of a thousand Hiroshimas, it triggers Dead Hand, the ultimate defense mechanism developed by the Soviets at the height of the Cold War.

The missiles are pointing at the United States and its European allies, and ultra-nationalist General Likatchev is willing to use them as blackmail to topple the government in Moscow and return Russia to her status as a world power.

When Russia responds to diplomatic queries with cold silence, a NATO special operations unit is dropped into Siberia. Trapped in a region ravaged by freezing snow and the hellish aftermath of the asteroid impact, the NATO forces are racing against time to track down Likatchev and dismantle Dead Hand before a global holocaust is unleashed.

Review: With occasional references to "the Kursk incident" and to Vladimir Putin's unpopularity with the Russian people, and with a plot centered around the antics of an ultra-nationalist Russian general, Dead Hand positions itself as an up-to-the-minute thriller with significant political resonance--and even throws in a natural disaster for good measure. Ever wary of being caught off-guard by a nuclear strike, Russia has carefully cultivated a retaliatory system capable of launching its own missiles: mordantly dubbed Dead Hand, the system will activate without a central command. When an asteroid hits Siberia with enough force to trigger the system, Moscow finds itself faced with both unspeakable environmental chaos and General Likatchev's bid to subvert the disaster to his own anti-Western purposes.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and Russia must ask the U.S., NATO, and the French Foreign Legion (to name but a few of the players) to invade its own borders and destroy the missiles before Likatchev can get to them. Confronted by mass destruction and a Russian squadron led by one of the general's former protégés, the motley group of Western soldiers races against the clock toward the bevy of silos--but at what cost?

Harold Coyle is anything but subtle: his characters can't cross a room without the author pausing to reflect on the glory of the soldier's calling. His pedantic asides often bring the plot to a screeching halt, and he has an unfortunate tendency to present his characters in the manner of an announcer at a beauty pageant: heavy on the platitudes and light on meaningful revelation. That said, Coyle has built up a loyal following, and these readers will no doubt be pleased with the obvious au courant sincerity of his latest offering. --Kelly Flynn

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dead Hand
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: Good

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