Consultants to a Washington law firm take on the Soviets who plan to sap America's military strength through the encouragement of excessive environmentalism—a first collaboration from Modesitt (The Magic of Recluce, p. 510) and newcomer Levinson, an environmental consultant. The cold war isn't really dead. It's now become the Green War as down-but-not-out Russians realize that growing American acceptance of environmentalism has made the nation vulnerable to its own bureaucracies and its mania for legislation. Newly powerful eco-freaks backed by devious foreign interests stride cockily through the District of Columbia dealing body blows to the departments of Defense and Commerce, shutting down essential industries and forcing the exodus of firms that need to work with hazardous materials. To the nation's rescue come two most unlikely heroes—Jack McDarvid and Johnnie Black—one a former bureaucrat from the EPA, the other a modestly dashing specialist in regulatory flimflam. The law firm that employs the two consultants has been retained by a giant Corsican industrial firm to stop—or at least slow—the latest legislative drive to ban one of their pesticides and to limit American use of critical heavy metals. McDarvid's knowledge of EPA personnel and procedures proves invaluable as he wields memos and letters in a concentrated attack on the agency and one of its oversight committees—and discovers midlevel corruption and congressional treachery in the battle. Maddening. The truly ingenious plot and the clever effort to put bureaucratic Washington under harsh light are largely undone by a Consumer Reports writing style.
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