A Book Spy Review: ‘The Moscow Offensive’ by Dale Brown


The Moscow OffensiveStacy Anne Barbeau, America’s inept commander-in-chief, fails to see the threat that Russia poses to the United States and the rest of the world, making it especially easy for Gennadiy Gryzlov, the Russian president, to launch a crippling attack against the West.

Playing the long game, Gryzlov has taken his time plotting and planning his big moment. Unbeknownst to America, Russia was able to reverse engineer a damaged Cybernetic Infantry Device, proprietary technology that has changed the way the United States fights its wars. The twelve-foot “humanoid combat robots” are part of an elite military unit known as the Iron Wolf Squadron, operating underneath Scion, a private security firm owned by Kevin Martindale, who had occupied the Oval Office before Stacy Anne. 

Thankfully, America’s former president is still paying attention — but even Martindale is shocked when it’s revealed that not only was Russia able to build their own combat robots, but that Gennadiy Gryzlov secretly purchased a freight company, allowing him to move his units around the world without anyone noticing. 

Wrapped up in helping to protect Europe as part of the newly-formed Alliance of Free Nations, Martindale and his team of pilots — including veteran combat soldier Brad McLanahan — must work quickly to defend America, taking on Russia’s new fighters in a heavyweight showdown between giant killing machines. . . 

The Cybernetic Infantry Devices in Brown’s fictional universe are comparable to the AMP suit Colonel Miles Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang) used in the movie Avatar, or like much, much smaller versions of the jaeger robots in Pacific Rim. However, whereas those movies don’t necessarily feel real (after all, one features dinosaur-like alien monsters and the other takes place on a far away planet), Brown’s units come across as authentic and possible. Each member of the Iron Wolf Squadron is said to be armed with “more firepower than a conventional platoon,” and it’s pretty darn cool to see these machines square off and have at each other. 

Beyond the killing machines, which, let’s be real, totally steal the show, Brown continues to show a deep understanding when it comes to geopolitics and national security. So while this is absolutely a techno-thriller at its core, it’s also a very smart, timely, and terrifying political thriller that points out potential vulnerabilities in America’s current security and defense measures. Plus, the author continues to develop his characters nicely, including Brad, who still lives partially in the shadow of his legendary father, Patrick McLanahan.

Current, spot-on, and full of bone-crushing action, Dale Brown’s The Moscow Offensive is one of his best novels to date, and a sure bet to please action junkies who also like heaping sides of politics and next-gen tech. 

Book Details

Author: Dale Brown
Series: Brad McLanahan
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0062442015
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10



Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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