ACID TEST by Ross LaManna


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Hyperbrisk first novel by screenwriter LaManna, whose credits include Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour.

At a secret weapons research center in the Australian desert, a monstrously superhuman Infiltrator murders two soldiers, sets a trip-bomb, and escapes into the desert. Spotting the monster’s Land Rover 20 miles off in the desert, USAF counterintelligence officer Matt Wilder revs up a jet engine piggybacked onto a flatbed semitrailer and drives after him in a truck barely touching earth at 350 m.p.h., transmission white-hot and a rear tire blowing before he rams the Land Rover but finds that his bullets have little effect on the Infiltrator, whose huge hands start to crack Matt’s bones like drumsticks on a Thanksgiving turkey. Then things really pick up. The unholy Trans-Altaic Alliance, a group of once politically meaningless states now fearsomely joined and ruled by Batu Khan, starts to release its incredibly powerful mounted commandos to take over further regions for seaports and other strategic needs. Back at his Office of Special Investigations at Andrews AFB, Wilder is forced to shoot a friendly 50-year-old nurse who suddenly has superhuman strength and goes berserk with a knife. Similar bizarrely violent incidents erupt nationwide: MAD YUPPIE DISEASE??? asks the Enquirer. The UN sits infirm when Batu Khan invades Georgia. President Marsh, studying Khan, learns that their battle will not be atomic but man to man, will to will. Someone powerful tries to quash Matt’s investigation of the incidents, but he persists. When Batu Khan’s bombers and elite commandos take the Ukraine, President Marsh issues an ultimatum: Get out today or else. Marsh and Wilder get a demo of our futuristic new weapons, including planes that fly at Mach 12 and can go anywhere on earth and return in two hours on one tank of gas—just what Matt needs when Batu unleashes a flight of Stealth fighters toward Washington and President Marsh goes superhuman.

No rocket science required.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-345-43992-9
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2001


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