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AREA 7 by Matthew Reilly Kirkus Star


by Matthew Reilly

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 2002
ISBN: 0-312-26685-5
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Fresh from his adventures in the Antarctic (Ice Station, 1999), Marine Captain Shane “Scarecrow” Schofield handles more high-tech mayhem and death-defying action when he escorts the president of the US into a top-secret Utah Air Force Base.

Before the bullets can fly, Reilly's vastly complicated, marvelously preposterous set-up involves a microwave transmitter secretly hidden in the president's heart, a Chinese space shuttle launched for no apparent reason, and a demented Air Force general so tough he survives a lethal injection and is now leading a heavily laden combat crew inside a classified bioweapons laboratory hidden in a former Strategic Air Command base where an equally demented South African scientist is developing a virus that will kill by race. Oh, and don't forget an array of suddenly discovered “plasma explosives” that can incinerate up 14 major American cities. On what appears to be a routine inspection tour of the laboratory, the president finds his Secret Service guards slaughtered and only Scarecrow Schofield, heading a tough-as-nails squad of Marines, can save him from all this—not to mention ferocious bears, man-eating lizards, a dozen convicted pyschokillers (abducted from US prisons to be used as guinea pigs), a rogue team among the rogues, and a bunch of South African assassins with laser beams. It's all an excuse for a series of meticulously detailed, way over-the-top action scenes, on land, water and in outer space, that never let up.

Reilly's least believable, but most suspenseful blow-’em-up to date: The jet-boat chase through the blind chasms of Arizona's Lake Powell puts the Bond books to shame.