Monday, February 1, 2016

The Art of War, Stephen Coonts

For 30 years, Stephen Coonts has been writing best-selling military suspense novels.  With a law degree and time served flying for the U.S. Navy, he brings an authenticity to his fiction that is tough to beat.  His newest book, The Art of War: A Novel, brings together two of his characters, Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini, who team up to uncover a Chinese plot to destroy a large chunk of the U.S. fleet.

The scary part of The Art of War?  That Coonts makes everything seem so absolutely plausible!  He lays out a blueprint for someone to smuggle a nuclear weapon into the vicinity of a major U.S. naval base.  Granted, I'm no military expert, but I can see Coonts's scenario playing out.  Knowing that they are no match for the U.S. militarily, the Chinese plant a nuke to be detonated when five aircraft carriers are in port together.  They figure that will give the Chinese some time to catch up to the U.S.

When several intelligence officials are assassinated and Air Force One is taken down by an EMP, Grafton and Carmellini and their team scramble to figure out how it all fits together.  As a result of the CIA director's assassination, Grafton steps in as acting director and becomes a target himself.  The Art of War moves fast and keeps you guessing up to the end.  With more than a dozen novels featuring Grafton and Carmellini, there are plenty of references to events from the past, but The Art of War definitely stands on its own.  You won't want to put it down!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

2016 Reading Challenge: A book with a great cover

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