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Publishers WeeklyFollowing 2011's A Time for Patriots, China is the bad guy in the 18th entry of Brown's long-running Patrick McLanahan series, set in 2014 & 2015. A 21st century Cold War looms after the Chinese test a new ballistic missile, and tensions ratchet up further when a US reconnaissance plane disappears somewhere over the South China Sea. The crisis tests the mettle of President Kenneth Phoenix, who fears that he's presiding over a "failed republic". Saving the day falls to Bradley McLanahan, son of "the hero of the American Holocaust, space hero, the greatest strategic bombing expert since General Curtis LeMay." Even though his father is retired from service, he naturally lends a hand as the clock ticks down to the prospect of all-out war and the threat of nuclear weapons hovers over the continental US. The assured writing and deft plotting keep things moving forward, and Brown again proves that he's a more-than-adequate substitute for Tom Clancy.
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