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Phantom Leader [Mass Market Paperback]

Mark Berent
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 12 2012
Amidst the fury of the Tet offensive, four of America's bravest warriors make life or death decisions on land and in the air as they struggle against the ruthless enemy and against the limitations of the human spirit. Reprint. PW.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this Vietnam-era sequel to Rolling Thunder and Steel Tiger , Berent takes his well-established characters into the period of the Tet Offensive. Fighter pilot Court Bannister and forward air controller Toby Parker are assigned to form a new unit for a new mission: flying high-performance fighters as "fast forward air control" to interdict night movement of supplies and reinforcements down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Special Forces lieutenant-colonel Wolf Lochert continues to fight his war on the ground--much of it against trumped-up charges of murdering an enemy agent. The novel's real antagonists, indeed, are less the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong armed forces than the ignorant politicians and malevolent activists back in the U.S. Berent's flogging of this familiar theme sacrifices impact for repetition. But Berent remains without peer in the battle zone, describing the dynamics of an air war waged in a restrictive environment against a determined enemy. And his stomach-turning--and essentially accurate--depictions of the treatment of American pilots in Vietnamese captivity are timely reminders that there is no such thing as a Nintendo war.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- A fast-paced novel about the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam through which readers come to see the excitement and cruelty of war. Flak Apple parachutes into the midst of the Viet Cong and becomes a prisoner in Hanoi's Hoa Lo Prison. Toby Parker is taken prisoner after his plane is shot down on a reconnaissance mission. Court Bannister, a hotshot F4 pilot who violated the Rules of Engagement, is now assigned to set up secret night misions over Laos. Wolf Lochert, a Special Forces officer, not only fights the Viet Cong, but must also fight for his life against Washington political action. Berent brings out the contradictions of the war and the political morass that on one hand sent men to Vietnam and on the other hand constricted their actions to such an extent that victory was never a possibility. The imprisonment of Flak Apple clearly demonstrates man's inhumanity to man and will bring tears to the eyes of most readers. --Margie Jones, Herndon Int., Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As real as it gets Sept. 28 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
PHANTOM LEADER is the third in Berent's five book saga of fighting men in Vietnam. Berent's series gets better as this author gains experience and insight into the lives of his characters. This book is probably the first one in the series I would consider a "must read". The reason is the story of Major Algeron "Flak" Apple who is shot down in his F-4 fighter early in the book and is captured by the North Vietnamese. His story gives the reader a shocking look at life as a prisoner of war inside the Hao Lo prison, known more commonly as the "Hanoi Hilton". His story continues through the final two volumes. Berent agonizing portrayal of Apple's life of misery and torture inside the prison is dramatic and moving. The story also contains the continuing story of Court Bannister, an Air Force pilot that I believe Berent uses to tell his own story. Wolf Lochert also continues his battle as a US Army Special Forces Lt. Colonel. Berent writes with a similar style to Tom Clancy. This book is really five seperate stories that all intersect at one time or another. Berent's books are much easier to read and have more action than technical detail. The reader does, however, recieve enough explanation of military terms and acronyms to understand the sometimes complex language used by military persons. This books is a surperb action novel, but what makes it great is the amazing and horrifying look inside a prison camp of North Vietnam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As real as it gets Sept. 28 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
PHANTOM LEADER is the third in Berent's five book saga of fighting men in Vietnam. Berent's series gets better as this author gains experience and insight into the lives of his characters. This book is probably the first one in the series I would consider a "must read". The reason is the story of Major Algeron "Flak" Apple who is shot down in his F-4 fighter early in the book and is captured by the North Vietnamese. His story gives the reader a shocking look at life as a prisoner of war inside the Hao Lo prison, known more commonly as the "Hanoi Hilton". His story continues through the final two volumes. Berent agonizing portrayal of Apple's life of misery and torture inside the prison is dramatic and moving. The story also contains the continuing story of Court Bannister, an Air Force pilot that I believe Berent uses to tell his own story. Wolf Lochert also continues his battle as a US Army Special Forces Lt. Colonel. Berent writes with a similar style to Tom Clancy. This book is really five seperate stories that all intersect at one time or another. Berent's books are much easier to read and have more action than technical detail. The reader does, however, recieve enough explanation of military terms and acronyms to understand the sometimes complex language used by military persons. This books is a surperb action novel, but what makes it great is the amazing and horrifying look inside a prison camp of North Vietnam.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down March 6 2012
By Sheepdog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I flew the F-4, but not in Vietnam. However most of the guys in the Squadron had flown in Vietnam. This gives you the very feeling that you are there. Very well written, I hate putting it down. I have already ordered 3 more of Mark's books.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start to a Book Series June 7 2013
By Kotuku - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you think you know all about the background of the Viet Nam War then think again until you read this book. The first in a series of 5 books, I bought this in an Amazon promotion for $0.00 and was immediately hooked and have bought the rest.

While a fictional novel, the author's intimate knowledge of the war reveals so much that I didn't know, especially the crap from LBJ and the Fourth Estate. Excellent characters in this novel and they follow through into the other books in the series. The historical research is faultless and the book has many small incidents that build into the story, over many characters and chapters.

The use of ACRONYMS is a little off-putting to start with, as each acronym is carefully explained, sometimes more than once, so the first few chapters are a little hard going. Do persevere, it soon flys by this. Perhaps in retrospect to make it easier reading, the explanation of each acronym could have been made in an index at the end of the book, for anyone that interested?

An excellent combat story written by someone who really knows their stuff.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series! Aug. 19 2014
By derrick johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would give all 5 books in the Wings of War Series a 5 star rating. Yes it is filled with a whole lot of technical jargon but the picture that is painted with all the details gave me a new respect for just all that was going on in regards to the air war in Vietnam. The book is also "real" in the since that not every good guy escapes battle unscathed to live happily ever after. I would reccommend this book and the series to anyone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Looking for numbers four and five July 8 2014
By William Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. Looking for numbers four and five.
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