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High Flight [Hardcover]

Tor Books
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 8 1995
When the Japanese sabotage and crash fourteen American airplanes as a means of striking America's largest industrial export, the United States is forced to confront the demolition of its superpower economy in the light of thousands of deaths. Tour.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Through 22 novels, Hagberg (Desert Fire) has become known as a suspense writer who delivers. This massive near-future thriller will only enhance his reputation. It is 1997, and a carefully designed plot by a cabal of Japanese business and political interests is ready to be implemented: electronic units have been inserted in the fleet of a major U.S. airline, enabling the cabal, via satellite signal, to destroy the planes in mid-flight. A confrontation between a Japanese submarine and a Russian ship then puts their parent nations on the brink of war. In the U.S., a powerful newsletter publisher who believes that his country must confront the Japanese now, rather than be destroyed economically later, learns of the cabal's plot but plans to strike first by enacting the sabotage plan and blaming it on the Japanese government. To do so, he puts together a charismatic team composed of a deadly former East German assassin and two eccentric half-brothers, one an eco-terrorist, the other a computer whiz. Pitted against all this evil is ex-CIA operative Kirk McGarvey (returning from Critical Mass), who is hired by Guerin Airlines to protect its interests?but when McGarvey discovers the truth, few will believe him. Though overlong and episodic, Hagberg's narrative maintains its pace, and, by the final pages, with planes falling from the skies and WWIII seemingly inevitable, readers will be so engrossed they won't want to blink.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Guerin Airline Company, plagued by mysterious accidents, hires ex-CIA officer Kirk McGarvey to investigate. He discovers that a Japanese conglomerate has planted a bomb in the engines of each Guerin airliner. Edward Reid, an anti-Japanese fanatic, also learns of the devices and plots to use this knowledge to his advantage. Japan, meanwhile, must deal with a scheme by rabid nationalists to start a war with Russia. After 14 American passenger planes explode, McGarvey rushes to convince the Russian, Japanese, and American governments that this was not an act of war but a terrorist attack. Hagberg (Desert Fire, Tor Bks., 1993) resurrects the worn-out ex-CIA officer scenario but combines it effectively with the current political milieu to keep readers' interest peaked. Although a bit long, this novel should appeal to those who like military, political, and espionage fiction. For all public libraries.?Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Clancy, but pretty good! Feb. 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my first Hagberg book, and I'll probably pick up a few more now. The length is considerable, but most of it flows along nicely. Any book of this length will have a few pages where the pace slows. The political angle is the most prevalent ... this isn't really a techno-thriller or an action thriller. For example, Crichton's "Airframe" is an airplane techno-thriller, and you'll learn a lot about airplanes. Clancy likewise teaches you a lot about submarines (Hunt for Red October), or nuclear bombs (Sum of All Fears), even if sometimes you feel the story has paused so you can read a scientific journal article. However, I didn't really learn anything in this novel ... "Rising Sun" (Crichton) was more 'educational'.
I think I bought this book because I heard it contained P-3 Orion aircraft, of which I'm a fan. Indeed, they are mentioned in mostly realistic ways, but they are not a main player. The only P-3 Orion technical 'problem' was on page 821 where Hagberg says that the Orion throttled back to deploy dipping sonobuoys. A "dipping sonobuoy" is the terminology typically used for the equipment on a anti-submarine helicopter, not an airplane. While you could stretch the term to apply to the sonobuoys planes drop, it's not what one would usually use.
Overall, it's nice entertainment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A complex, multi-layered thriller June 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, let's get the bad stuff out of the way. I fully agree with everyone who complains about the lack of character development.
That said, we have a very intriguing concept here. It has been called Japan Inc. and the concept that business is war is taken to its logical extreme in High Flight. How separate is the Japanese government from entrenched business interests? And could there be a government behind the government that could engineer an economic attack on the United States in order to expand Japan's control over the Pacific Rim.
This is a very complex plot that involves baiting the Russians to strike back and the Seventh Fleet to intervene on behalf of the Japanese. Into this mix, a covert group attempts to gain control of America's domestic airline production industry and the plot involves sabotage of civilian airliners. There is a lot going on in this book, but it is well written and it continues to draw you on to the next page. Considering it is almost 900 pages long, this is a page turner that deserves to be read.
Whether you agree or disagree witht eh book's premise, it is worth considering.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Novel Jan. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book that I have read by this author. At heart it is basically a political-conspiracy type thriller. It pits the Japanese against the Americans in control of an airplane manufacturing company. A group of very powerful Japanese businessmen plot to restore the glory of the former Japanese empire by trying to gain control of an American aircraft manufacturing company that is developing a hypersonic commercial airplane. But that goal is only part of a larger plan that aims to control the western Pacific so that Japan can have access to natural resources in south east Asia. This group of Japanese, with the help of a few "loyal" military men, plans to execute a mini war against the Russian and they manipulate the American government in order to achieve their ultimate goal.
The American aircraft manufacturing company counters the potential Japanese hostile takeover by hiring a former CIA assassin to help them stop the Japanese plot. At the same time a former Undersecretary of State has his own agenda. He wants to warn the administration and the American public that Japan is getting too powerful. He wants to avoid another Pearl Harbor. He teams up with a former East German spy/assassin and a couple of American weirdos to blow up eight airplanes and blame these terrorist acts on the Japanese.
If I had to write this review with one word, it would be: Unbelievable! This is definitely not one of my favorite novels.
• Character Development: Hagberg hardly spends any effort in developing the characters. I don't have any feeling for the main character, the CIA assassin, nor the villains, the East German assassin and the former Undersecretary of the State. This novel is definitely not character driven.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off let me say that I am a true David Hagberg fan having read ALL of his books (except for Joshua's Hammer--haven't seen it at any local bookstores--YET) but it seemed to me that he was TRYING to specifically tackle a subject that was very ambitious and in so doing attempted to unseat the techno-thriller throne established by Clancy. And in the process wrote an otherwise entertaining novel that could have EASILY been done with 300 LESS pages. There was SO MUCH unnecessary everything that it nearly took a great story and made it absolutely dreadful. I HATE feeling this way, especially since I have enjoyed each and every Kirk McGarvey novel to date. All in all I enjoyed this one,too--but it definitely isn't without its faults. Contrived meetings between secondary characters which solve nothing, and ultimately move the plot BACKWARDS rather than FORWARDS. I also felt that Hagberg taking on the Japanese was a bit too coincidental that it came out not long after Clancy's 'Debt of Honor' which ALSO has the US being attacked by the Japanese, and before that it was Michael Chrichton's 'Rising Sun' where we got to read a LOT of anti-far East diatribes and even farther back to Clive Cussler's 'Dragon'. Sure all of these novels are unique but it almost seems as though there is a trend going on here that pits US against THEM (Asians--Japanese in particular). Maybe I am taking this a bit too far, but I always become disappointed in novels that in order to look more sophisticated than they really are add hundreds of useless pages of backwards-plotlines that take the story nowhere fast. Okay, off the soap box. If you are big Hagberg fan, read and decide for yourself, it WASN'T a BAD novel, just not what I felt it COULD have been if a lot hadn't been cut out first.
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