Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown is the author of several best-selling military-action-aviation-adventure novels: Flight of the Old Dog (1987), Silver Tower (1988), Day of the Cheetah (1989), Hammerheads (1990), Sky Masters (1991), Night of the Hawk (1992), Chains of Command (1993), Storming Heaven (1994) and Shadows of Steel (1996). Dale's novels are published in 11 languages and distributed to over 70 countries.
Dale was born in Buffalo, New York on November 2, 1956. He graduated from Penn State University and received an Air Force commission in 1978. He was a navigator-bombardier in the B-52G Stratofortress heavy bomber and the FB-111A supersonic medium bomber, and is the recipient of several military decorations and awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Combat Crew Award, and the Marksmanship ribbon. He flew over 2500 hours in various military tactical and training aircraft from 1978 to 1986 and was also a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School. Dale is a volunteer pilot for AirLifeLine, a non-profit national charitable medical transportation organization who fly needy persons free of charge to receive treatment. He also supports a number of organizations to support and promote law enforcement and reading. He is a member of the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association, The Writers Guild, and a Life Member of the Air Force Association and U.S. Naval Institute. He is a multi-engine and instrument-rated private pilot and can often be found in the skies all across the United States, piloting his Piper Aerostar 602P. On the ground, Dale enjoys tennis, scuba diving, and hockey. He lives in Incline Village, Nevada.
In the year 1995, hardliners have taken control of Russia and seek to reabsorb Ukraine, which has applied for NATO membership. When Russia detonates a low-yield atomic device, the U.S. dispatches a wing of F-111 aircraft, some piloted by women. Major Becky Furness has something to prove, as does Colonel Darren Mace, who has been under a cloud since a mysteriously aborted mission during the first hours of Operation Desert Storm. As the world lurches toward nuclear conflict, Furness and Mace find themselves on a last-chance air strike against the Russian high command. Brown's longstanding love affair with the B-52 ( Flight of the Old Dog ) has given way to a new passion for the F-111, which is this sprawling techno-thriller's real protagonist. The cockpit scenes ably synthesize combat action and technical description, but the novel's storyline shifts uneasily from describing the dynamics of a near-future Air Force to defending the use of women in combat to depicting Russia's resurgence. An unimaginatively nasty portrait of a First Couple clearly modeled on the Clintons does nothing to advance the plot; techno-thrillers seldom succeed as romans a clef . ( July )
It is the immediate future. Russia makes a low-level thermonuclear attack on Ukraine, trying to bring it back in line with the other former Soviet nations. When Turkey agrees to support the Ukrainian army, NATO becomes involved, and the U.S. Air Force Reserves are deployed. Brilliant but maligned maintenance officer Daren Mace joins forces with the beautiful and talented pilot Rebecca Furness in a last-ditch mission to destroy the bloodthirsty Russian leader before full-scale atomic war can erupt. Brown, usually a master of the technothriller, has tried to combine too many topical issues (women in combat, the defense drawdown, the menace of nuclear weapons) with savage attacks on President and Mrs. Clinton, treating the former as a buffoon and the latter as a shrill, antimilitary bigot. Fans of Brown's earlier books will be disappointed by the predictability of the plot and the lack of character development. Unless you are building a complete technothriller collection, pass on this. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/93.-- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing - China Lake, Ridgecrest, Cal.