Mysterious Book Report No. 379
by John Dwaine McKenna
Europe has lived in the shadow, first of the Soviet Union, and more recently, of the Rodina . . . Mother Russia herself . . . since the end of World War II. It’s the reason the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, was formed by the US, Canada and several European nations for the purpose of joint security. An attack on one would be considered an attack on all. It has been an effective deterrent to another war for more than seventy years. But, what if . . . what if it stopped working?
That’s the premise underlying a page-turning and electrifying new thriller that’s perfect for your summer reading program. And, hey! Fair warning—don’t worry about cutting the grass or washing the car once you begin reading this one, because it’s too compelling to let you worry about the mundane.
Red Metal, (Berkley/ Penguin/Random House, $27.00, 656 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49041-4) by Mark Greaney and H. Ripley Rawlings IV, have combined their immense talents to produce the best military action adventure since Tom Clancy wrote The Hunt for Red October nearly forty years ago.
Red Metal opens in Kenya, where the Russians are mining a mountain of precious, rare earth minerals; a necessity in manufacturing everything high-tech, from satellites to cell phones, under an agreement with the government. It’s a treaty signed in greed and ignorance, that hugely favors the Russians, and the Kenyans, with assistance from the United States, kick the Russians out by force . . . humiliating a Spetsnatz (Special Forces) Colonel named Yuri Borbikov in the process. He gets his revenge a few years later, when threats of war between China and US ally Taiwan cause the President to order nearly all US military assets to the Far East, leaving a lethargic, loosely defended Europe inadequately protected. Colonel Borbikov presents a war plan that he’s drawn up called Operation Red Metal, in which Russia tank forces and armored divisions will launch a lightning strike into Germany, and at the same time, commence an attack in Africa to retake the mine. To every senior Russian General’s surprise, the Russian President approves the audacious plan and war—unthinkable only days earlier—is set in motion on land, air and sea . . . and in cyberspace. Once the war machine wheels start to turn, bullets fly, the computer hacking begins, and the action never stops as the authors tell the story from multiple points of view and all sides of each conflict, from the lowest NCO to the highest general. Whether you’re a student of geopolitics, battle tactics, or just enjoy a good action adventure yarn, this one will keep you nailed to the page from start to finish, for hours at a time. Tell your friends—you saw it here first—the MBR predicts Red Metal is going to be a blockbuster hit!
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