A Book Spy Review: ‘The Kremlin Strike’ by Dale Brown

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The Kremlin StrikeIn the latest technothriller from New York Times bestseller Dale Brown (The Moscow Offensive, 2018, etc.), Brad McLanahan and the Iron Wolf Squadron head to outer space to take on the Russians. 

Set in the near future, Russian President Gennadiy Gryzlov has one goal. He wants to conquer the world. To help him overthrown the United States, Gryzlov and the Russians have commissioned a new state of the art space station, code-named Thunderbolt, complete with nextgen weapons that are capable of taking out satellites—and delivering a strike to America.

John Dalton Farrell, the newly sworn-in American president—who replaces the inept Stacy Anne Barbeau—reverts back to Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative program, launching his own plan to get the United States back up to speed and ready for the kind of war the Russians are hellbent on starting. Enter pilots Patrick McLanahan and his son, Brad, who heads up America’s Iron Wolf Squadron. Together, the father-son duo are charged with leading Farrell’s vision for beefing up the country’s space defenses, and they get to work right away, looping in Nadia Roz, Maj, and the rest of the gang. But with little time to prepare and organize, the countdown is on, and it’s one again up to the Iron Wolf Squadron to save the day before it’s too late. 

While the story is set in 2021 and does deal with some science fiction elements, Brown doesn’t go full-blown sci-fi here. Instead, he dials up the action, hitting on a timely threat—delivering one of the first stories that mirrors President Trump’s real-life Space Force, while also staying true to the series’ roots. As longtime fans of the franchise know, Brown has been building the Russian angle for a while now, and while his last book didn’t build to the hype readers might have expected, his latest doesn’t disappoint. Actions junkies will delight in the over-the-top, balls-to-the-wall fight sequences, which are some of Brown’s finest to date. The one negative, if you can even really consider it that, is the over usage of military terms and acronyms. Even veteran readers of the genre may struggle to pick up everything, but while Brown does get a little too technical sometimes, it’s still nowhere close to the early days of Tom Clancy, which left readers feeling like they could drive a submarine after finishing one of his books.

Innovative, fast-paced, and jam-packed full of heart-thumping action, Dale Brown’s The Kremlin Strike is a ton of fun to read, and one of his best thrillers in years. 

Book Details

Author: Dale Brown
Series: Brad McLanahan #5
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501180843
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 7.5/10

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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). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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