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30 April 2015

Stephen Coots: Under Siege

A Jake Grafton "Lemon"
I have read and enjoyed several books in the Jake Grafton series by Stephen Coonts but unfortunately IMHO this one is a "Lemon". It falls between the early adventures when Jake Grafton is a Naval pilot and the latter stories when Grafton is associated with covert operations. This time Grafton is working in the Pentagon directly for the Joint Chief of Staff on drug related issues and seems to be a bit out of his depth in a pretty unrealistic story.

What would happen if a Colombian drug lord is apprehended and brought to trial in DC? What would happen if that drug lord (with a wealth of billions of dollars) wants to spend part of his wealth hiring terrorists and assassins to bring Washington to its knees? Coonts paints a violent picture of a missile attack on the President's helicopter, the assassination of several key politicians, Judges and power brokers plus an invasion of suicide gangs intent on killing as many people as possible.

What is the outcome - martial law and Grafton and his cronies trying to find the main assassin and destroy the suicide gangs. This is done against a background of war between drug dealers. IMHO things like this are a bit over the top.

All in all this book really didn't work for me especially because Coonts involved real people in the drama, with George Bush Snr and Dan Quayle taking leading parts in the fiction. He also manufactured a fictitious overthrow of Fidel Castro.

The only part of this story that really interested me was that Coonts told me how Washington Post journalist Jack Yocke became an unusual associate of Grafton - something that had puzzled me in some future books where Hockey plays an important supporting role.

All in all I still love the Jake Grafton series, despite this "Lemon".

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