A rogue faction in the Chinese government plots the end of U.S.-Sino cooperation, and only the Secretary of Defense can stop the madness.
Former congressman, senator and Clinton-era Secretary of Defense Cohen draws on years of political and Pentagon experience for his sideline gig as a thriller writer (Murder in the Senate, 1993, etc.). His latest tells of near-calamity involving good and evil Chinese, good and evil Americans, good and evil Germans, a totally evil Russian Mafioso and a spectacularly beautiful and good Mossad assassin. The best of the Americans is Michael Santini, appointed Secretary of Defense after the incumbent was poisoned by anthrax-dusted cats. Santini, a veteran of the Hanoi prisons, swore off politics for finance after one term as senator, enjoying the fabulous wealth that came with his new career on Wall Street. But his sense of duty kicked in when the president begged for his help in managing the crises that have been hitting the free world with increasing frequency. At the heart of the troubles is some serious saber-rattling in China, where evil General Li has authorized nuclear tests in the Muslim-dominated western provinces. An unreconstructed Maoist, the general has had enough of the capitalist roaders and plans to involve Vladimir Pavlovich Berzin, a corrupt candidate for the Russian presidency, in a scheme that will rub America’s face in the dirt. Berzin, meanwhile, has his own plan to control the universe. In backstabbing D.C., National Security Advisor Joe Praeger has his own agenda and the president’s ear. Santini begins to pick up the threads of the various plots during a visit from his opposite number in Beijing, one of the good guys. Fortunately, he is backed by the straight-shooting Chiefs of Staff.
Barely disguised talking points and a very long setup test the patience of thrill-seeking intrigue fans.