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by Richard Marcinko with John Weisman

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-671-89673-3
Publisher: Pocket

 Following the assassination of an American military attachÇ in the former USSR, the Pentagon sends Marcinko on a priority (Designation Gold) mission to Moscow with orders to investigate the brutal murder. A sometime Navy SEAL (whose real-life exploits in Vietnam were chronicled in the 1992 bestseller Rogue Warrior), Marcinko has had an active (if fictive) post-retirement career in which he offers caustic first-person accounts of dirty jobs done for low-profile agencies of the US government (Rogue Warrior: Task Force Blue, 1996, etc.). On this outing, the salty soldier of fortune raises enough homicidal hell with mafiya goons and corrupt officials to get himself expelled from Russia. Although scarcely more welcome in Washington's upper echelons, he has come away with evidence that minions of the Kremlin are smuggling nuclear material to Syria through Werner Lantos, a shady Hungarian middleman who works out of Paris. Joining forces with Avi Ben Gal (an old pal from Israel's security service), Tricky Dick heads for the City of Light, where he and his three-man team learn that the venal go-between is at the heart of a vast conspiracy to restore the erstwhile Soviet Union's superpower status and trigger a renewal of the Cold War. While well-placed traitors in their own governments resist them at every turn, Dick and Avi resourcefully manage to mount an airborne raid on a covert atomic-weapons installation near Damascus. In a climactic engagement notable for their unwonted reliance on guile as well as firepower, the two lay waste to the secret ordnance facility, bag the reptilian Lantos, and determine who should pay for the transnational plot's near-miss horrors. With sociopolitical asides (on Bill Clinton, equal employment opportunity in the armed forces, and allied targets of opportunity) as hard-hitting as the narrative action, the aging but perdurably macho man delivers another diverting road show. (Author tour)