State of the Union

State of the Union

5.0 2
by David Callahan
     
 

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A decorated Gulf War veteran receives his dream assignment: the Pentagon. Working under the capitol's two most powerful men--a hardened admiral and a ruthless politician--he discovers their real agenda: a conspiracy of dark secrets and a pursuit of limitless power dating back three decades. With an ex-Green Beret who kills for pleasure on his trail, and a beautiful

Overview

A decorated Gulf War veteran receives his dream assignment: the Pentagon. Working under the capitol's two most powerful men--a hardened admiral and a ruthless politician--he discovers their real agenda: a conspiracy of dark secrets and a pursuit of limitless power dating back three decades. With an ex-Green Beret who kills for pleasure on his trail, and a beautiful woman he's unsure he can trust by his side, the veteran embarks on a dangerous mission to expose the conspiracy before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An original, well-conceived hero and some inside knowledge of politics and the defense establishment give this thriller an edgedespite the usual suspect crew of heavies and a plot about a military plot to take over the government that owes a lot to Seven Days in May. The hero, Lt. Zach Turzin, a recent recipient of the Medal of Honor for leading a raid that destroyed a munitions plant in Iraq, is recruited by his personal hero, the legendary Admiral Jeff Forsten, now vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At a dinner given by maverick billionaire and presidential candidate Douglas Sherman, Admiral Forsten attacks the current liberal president's defense policies and asks Zach to join his staff as a special assistant. We realize early on that Forsten and Sherman are hatching some dirty deeds, but we also understand why Turzin would be attracted to such people. He's seeing a therapist, and through these sessions we learn why this young intellectual is basically anti-liberal and very pro-military. Callahan, a resident scholar at the Twentieth Century Fund who has written about defense and foreign policy issues, provides enough credible detail to keep the usual wave of plot-induced disbelief at bay for a while. But in the end, the escalating body count of murders made to look like accidents or suicides is too much to bear, and Turzin's original qualities disappear beneath the fake armor of cartoon heroics. U.K. and translation rights: Raphael Sagalyn. (June)
Library Journal
In his first novel, Callahan, a resident scholar at the Twentieth Century Fund, gives added punch to the scenario of an underground right-wing group subverting an elected administration it considers weak on defense by adding Tennessee militiamen, Hezbollah mercenaries, and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Army Lt. Zachary Turzin to the mix. Recruited by defense industrialist and presidential contender Douglas Sherman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Jeffrey Forsten to join their band of true believers, Zach is soon working for Forsten, smitten with Sherman's girlfriend, and being courted by the FBI in its investigation of the pair. There is some nasty business here (assassination, torture) and a growing body count before a cinematic finish and the delivery of just deserts. Callahan's characterizations and prose style are merely serviceable, but his plot will keep readers of political-military thrillers turning pages. And you can just picture this on the big screen. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/97.]Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Arlington, Va.
Kirkus Reviews
Clunky Clancy-esque government insider tale of an attempted Washington coup d'etat and the brooding Green Beret who stops it, by a former US foreign-policy analyst.

After a well-received biography of Cold Warrior Paul Nitze (Dangerous Capabilities, 1990) and a foreign policy primer (Between Two Worlds, not reviewed), this fictional turn from Callahan, resident scholar at the Twentieth Century Fund, suffers from tediously predictable plotting and prose that begs for a salvo of editorial smart bombs: The desirable gal Friday of one of the book's half-dozen villains "slung barbs with pursed lips and responded to attacks with either slashing wit or feminine pouting. Everything about her was inviting." Special Forces Lieutenant Zach Turzin, having just won the Congressional Medal of Honor for leading a commando raid into Iraq, is recruited to the staff of Admiral Jeff Forsten, the blustering, right-wing vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff whose spirited lust for combat during the Vietnam War cloaks a history of covert heroin smuggling and arms trading. Forsten introduces Turzin to Douglas Sherman, a wealthy, failed presidential candidate whose shadowy relations with Hong Kong businessman Donald Chen and terrorist chieftan Sheik Abdul Tabrata would make any remotely intelligent American officer quit the corps. Persuading himself that these just might be decent fellows, Turzin, who gets nightmares about his best buddy's tragic death back in Iraq, beds Justine, Sherman's barb-slinging mistress, while, in Oman, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs is murdered in an apparent terrorist attack. Hoping to disprove nasty rumors about Forsten's complicity, Turzin finds Forsten and company heading a complicated conspiracy aimed at wiping out most of the executive and legislative branches of government by blowing up the Capitol during the State of the Union address.

Cautionary, ineptly written Pentagon procedural weighed down by flabby characterizations, limp dialogue, and a pile of mangled corpses.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451197252
Publisher:
Signet
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
4.26(w) x 6.68(h) x 1.11(d)

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State of the Union (Two Cassettes) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this novel's plot and premise were interesting, I found myself constantly struggling to find any real motivation to continue reading because of the poor execution of the action. Overall, dissapointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting and interesting book. Never a dull moment! A must read for any fast paced thriller reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat