Forge, May 2001, 24.95, 383 pp.
During the coldest moments of the Cold War, the Communist regime concluded that the West had superior capability with a second strike that could wipe out the Soviet retaliation. As a deterrent and the ultimate eye for an eye response, the Soviet Union creates DEAD HAND, an offensive nuclear retaliatory system that becomes triggered by massive destruction that needs no human operator.
The Soviet Union has since crumbled, but DEAD HAND quietly remains activated. Nereus 1991 HWC, an asteroid on a collision course with Siberia, has the strike force potential to trigger DEAD HAND. A race against time begins to deactivate the doomsday machine as the crash lights up Siberia in a way that makes Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like harmless firecrackers rather than deadly weapons of war. However, as the heroic military team advance on the mission to save the world, not everyone in Russia wants to abort DEAD HAND.
DEAD HAND is an action-packed global thriller that never slows so readers better take a big breath at the start. The story line is an updated slight twist of Dr. Strangelove without the keen satirical blade of the movie. The characters are heroic and intrepid, but they seem slim. Still this techno-military thriller will please those readers who want action to the nth degree and is a sure best seller for Harold Coyle who always provides a one stop reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner