STRIKE OF THE COBRA by Timothy Rizzi


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 A routine space shuttle mission goes sour, turning into a Libyan-US conflagration, with the PLO tossed in for good measure-- in a second novel from Rizzi (Nightstalker, 1992). The US agrees to accommodate the new Russia and recover an ailing Kosmos satellite during its latest space shuttle mission- -except that maverick Russian General Popivich fires the Kosmos' rockets after recovery, starting a fire, and the shuttle emergency lands at Madadhi air base on the Chad-Libya border, an unbeknownst secret PLO base. Aboard the Kosmos are ten nuclear warheads that the US mustn't learn about. The PLO head fanatic, Ajami, the shuttle landing in his lap, envisions the huge ransom he can extract from the hated Americans. Enmeshed in the fray is head astronaut General Richard ``Duke'' James, central character of Nightstalker, appearing in a lesser role here. Things heat up when a Libyan weapons expert arrives at Madadhi (the Libyans are supporting the PLO logistically) and discovers the warheads. Ajami has now leaped from fat city to the whole enchilada. He can nuke New York City or Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, the US and the Libyans, also alerted to the warheads' existence, are drawing battle plans. On the one side, cunning Libyan Major Nittal is using the PLO as cannon fodder so he can do a snatch and grab; on the other, the US deploys its new age Cobra Strike Force, supported by all the high- tech gewgaws the American taxpayer can provide. In the middle sit the PLO fanatics, their three American astronaut hostages, and the warheads. Let the battle begin. Heart-in-mouth, max G-force, stunningly realistic air action- -here unimpeded by too-fleshy characters.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1993
ISBN: 1-55611-359-5
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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