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Phantom: An Alex Hawke Novel    by Ted Bell order for
by Ted Bell
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

A Russian sub is seized by an inexplicable force and launches its torpedoes against a Caribbean cruise ship. American anti-ballistic missiles mysteriously blow up in their silos. The USAF fighter plane escorting Air Force One sends its sidewinder missiles at the president's airplane.

Something has gone terribly wrong in the world and the major powers don't know who is responsible. These totally unnerving events suggest the unthinkable has happened; someone has created the ultimate super weapon using artificial intelligence and these events are just harbingers of what is to come!

Enter Alex Hawke and his M16 buddy Ambrose Congreve. It is up to these two men to figure out who is behind these occurrences and, hopefully, stop the person or persons before the world is thrown into total chaos.

Their mission will take the duo from Palo Alto, California, to Putin's mega-yacht off Cap d'Antibe in the south of France, to Moscow and Cambridge University. And, for a grand finale, all hell will break out in the Persian Gulf as an unforgettable sea battle rages in the sensitive region.

This may sound like a scenario that is more appropriate to sci-fi than an international espionage thriller, but Ted Bell says, not so fast. He writes, 'Cyberweapons like the ones described in Phantom are not only on the drawing boards but in advanced stages of development ... Bioengineered diseases designed by computers run amok would make our atomic and hydrogen bombs pale in comparison.'

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