Brown's third technothriller is based on a premise successfully developed a decade ago in Clive Thomas's Firefox : the theft of an advanced-design fighter. This time the year is 1996; the fighter is America's X-34 Dreamstar; and its secret is ANTARES: the interfacing of the pilot's nervous system and the aircraft's computer. The plane's hijack by its pilot, a KGB mole, sets the stage for a fast-moving spectrum of diplomatic and military measures to recover or destroy the prize without starting a world war. Ultimately the task falls to the Cheetah--an F-15 with its own updated avionics, but an ``older, less intelligent cousin'' of Dreamstar. Brown's action scenes are vivid; his descriptions of contemporary technology accurate; his projections into the near future of aircraft design convincing; and his characterization of the growing internal conflict in the mole has weight and substance.
Back to top