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The Art of War: A Novel (Jake Grafton…
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The Art of War: A Novel (Jake Grafton Novels)

by Stephen Coonts

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In The Art of War, China is trying to make a major power play to upset the balance of power in the world. Their devious and dastardly plan is to take out half of the United States’s aircraft carriers and kill a couple million people in the process by planting a nuclear missile at the Newport naval base. Adding to their dastardliness is their plot to take out high ranking US officials as a diversion. On the case is Jake Grafton, a hard-nosed SOB who becomes the acting CIA director, and Tommy Carmellini, a snarky, sarcastic thief and spy.

This is a fast paced novel that is aided by the classic plot device of the ticking clock. It’s a fight against time to first figure out what the Chinese are plotting and then to find the nuclear missile. The character development is proficient. There are many well-developed characters in the story besides Grafton and Carmellini. Even the president, who is entirely off screen, is very reminiscent of a former president. I liked the way the author played off of current events. One of the main flaws of these types of novels is a lack of realism, but I thought the novel stood up rather well in that regard. Without trying to spoil anything, the only downer involved Carmellini’s female relationships, which I thought harmed his otherwise well-developed character. I also liked the little quotes at the beginning of the chapters from famous people about war, politics, and combat. This was a strong novel that I would recommend reading.

Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth ( )
  Carl_Alves | Jul 10, 2017 |
The director of the CIA is killed, then other high ranking officials are murdered and an attempt is made on the president’s life. What does this all leading up to? The Chinese have planted a nuclear bomb in the harbor at Norfolk. Jake Grafton is appointed to run the CIA and will use any means necessary to find out the who, what and how! With that said, this is one fast roller coaster ride of action and suspense. I found the writing to be tight and believable and thoroughly enjoyed the story. ( )
  grumpydan | Mar 31, 2016 |
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