Former President George Bush plays a small but pivotal role in this latest military/techno-thriller from Chris Stewart, a major in the U.S. Air Force whose flying expertise gave his debut thriller Shattered Bone a fresh blast of credibility and verisimilitude. On board Air Force One for an important ambassadorial mission, Bush is killed in the book's first few pages by a biological agent released into the air by Iraqi terrorists working for Saddam Hussein's even more dangerous son Odai.
Fearing that Junior is ready to gas the rest of the Washington establishment plus a large number of America's ordinary citizens, the government sends in a crack commando team to make sure the son doesn't rise to the occasion. There's also a boatload of top-secret electronic gadgetry (explained so well that even us techno-dummies can understand how it all works), a touching young female spy who goes a long way toward humanising the Iraqi villains and enough in-flight action to satisfy the keenest video-game addicts. --Dick Adler
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