Pocket, March 2004, 6.99, 354 pp.
The Chinese launch the Shenzou 7 spaceship with a private corporation paying them to launch a commercial satellite into orbit. C.J. Skye of Skye Aerospace destroys the spaceship using a laser beam that is on the Zeus 1 satellite that she launched years ago. C.J. wants to be the one who gets the jobs of launching commercial satellites into orbit and she will not hesitate to kill the competition with her star wars weapon.
When NASA wins the bid to launch a satellite into space, the Liberty is to do the job before rendezvousing with the international ISS space station. C.J. uses the laser to destroy the satellite that was an espionage weapon. When the Liberty goes to retrieve what is left of it she destroys the spaceship too. An astronaut survives and Kelsey Neaton on the ISS retrieves him. He has proof that the destructions of the Liberty and the satellite was deliberate. Kelsey emails the evidence to her fiancÚ scientist Nolan Kilkenny. With governmental approval, KilKenny investigates the incidents unaware that C.J. will kill to stop him.
Commercial espionage can be just as deadly as government intrigue as the hero finds out as he survives one attempt on his life after another. BIRD OF PREY is an action packed thriller that moves at light speed but does not stint on characterizations. The cooperation of nations as they try to figure out this international problem is believable and the characters' actions realistic. Though C.J. seems cartoonish in her zeal, BIRD OF PREY is the ultimate cat and mouse thriller with the stakes being the freedom and safety of outer space.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner