VORTEX by Larry Bond


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 Red Phoenix author Bond, who also collaborated with Tom Clancy on Red Storm Rising, takes his formidable war-game skills to South Africa, where he pits fascist Boers against Cuban communists. Yanks are, once again, policemen on the world beat. Armchair warriors suffering from post-Saddam letdown, as well as ground-war fans disappointed by the walkover in Iraq, should find considerable satisfaction in this lengthy (729-page), detail-rich treatment of a multifront war that flares up when ultra reactionary South African politicians send all their moderate governmental colleagues off on a luxury train knowing that the train is about to be blown up by black radicals. With the reformers out of the way, the fascists seize power, undo racial and political reform, and send their army off to reclaim the one-time colony of Namibia. The surprise blitzkrieg makes a spectacular start--and then promptly runs into unexpected and father fierce opposition from the Cuban forces still left in neighboring Angola. Castro has got on the phone and sold a backsliding Soviet Union on the idea of an aggressive combination of Cuban know-how and Soviet hardware that will demonstrate to the world the glory of renascent Leninism. In the best Schwarzkopfian fashion, the Cubans fly and ship a major expeditionary force to Africa and roll out a tricky three-prong counterattack against the beastly Boers. When the panicky South Africans nuke one of the prongs, it's time for the US to step in and sort things out. Observing much of the action but unable to capitalize on the opportunity is an American telejournalist who is out of favor with his network--but much prized by the pretty daughter of one of the nastiest of the fascist cabinet ministers. Not all the Boers are bad, by the way. Many, many battles and much, much war with not too much mushy stuff. The political doings that set the war machinery running are rather broad-brush and suffer in comparison to the well-done battle scenes but, still, it's likely to sell oodles.

Pub Date: June 3rd, 1991
ISBN: 0-446-51566-3
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991


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