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Plan of Attack    by Dale Brown order for
Plan of Attack
by Dale Brown
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Acclaimed as the best military adventure writer, Dale Brown succeeds again in Plan of Attack. Brown's comprehensive, realistic ploys of government tactics (both domestic and foreign) reflect his experience as a bombardier in the United States Air Force (USAF).

USAF Major General Patrick McLanahan is the protagonist from Brown's previous stories. McLanahan gets the job done by 'skirting the rules'. For his actions McLanahan is demoted, stripped of two stars, and loses command of the Nevada Battle Management Center (BATMAN). It's rumored that he may become the next national security adviser. Those who dislike McLanahan want his resignation from the USAF. However, he has many strong supporters at all levels. McLanahan's assigned 'desk job' at the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA) reports to Major General Gary Houser, who defines the demoted general as an 'out-of-control disciplinary hard case'. McLanahan is blamed by his government, the Pentagon, and the world for the rising tension between the United States and Russia.

When McLanahan's directives lead US commandos to save Turkmenistan from the Taliban, and result in the bombing of a Russian air base, Russian Federation president General Anatoliy Gryzlov's vendetta rises in momentum. His retaliation includes a devastating plan to bomb United States strategic air bases. US President Thomas Thorn has few options - to retaliate, agree with Gryzlov on a cease fire, or implement McLanahan's plan. McLanahan's substantial evidence of increased activity at Russian bases is brought to superiors and government agencies, but is rebuked and disbelieved. Following his philosophy (often shared with staff members) to 'believe what the heart and head tell ... not what a bureaucrat tells you', McLanahan may be forced to take matters into his own hands.

This is a stand-alone story within a series. Brown's genius, in developing strategies and describing play-by-play action of fighter pilots, adds mounting suspense beyond what film screens can convey. The author's inventions include robotics, super planes and futuristic military body armor known as Ballistic Electro-Reactive Process (BERP). The flexible-material armor is impenetrable, imbedded with safety and surveillance devices, and provides fluid re-circulation. Plan of Attack is a credible, techno-military thriller, definitely a good read.

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