St. Martin's, Feb 2003, 25.95, 352 pp.
Russian General Petrov sells four decaying from age nuclear warheads for two million American dollars to Islamic terrorist Ashruf, known more often as infidel killer Frouq al-Zuair. Anna “Modin” Mickhailova observes the sale and later notifies her boss Russian spy chief Janos Ilin about it. Ilin informs retired Rear Admiral Jake Grafton about the sale and that the four warheads are heading to America. Grafton briefs the President.
The Greek freighter carrying the warheads vanishes while a terrorist cell in Florida waits for further instructions. Meanwhile Jake ignores the ranting of the absurd bureaucracy demanding he follow the rules (and a few laws too) when he orders the military and Coast Guard to use radiation detectors at the East Coast ports of entry. He knows the consequences if he fails to catch the terrorists before they disembark.
LIBERTY is an action packed thriller that is at its best when it focuses on either of the testy testosterone twins Frouq or Jake. A subplot involving an irate maniacal Vietnamese seems inane and the stereotyping of the government agencies as inept seems too easy and trite. Still fans of complex multiple sub-plots will appreciate this high-octane tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner