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The Red Horseman (Jake Grafton Series) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 434 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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From Publishers Weekly

Coonts's latest Jake Grafton ( Under Siege ) espionage thriller takes on the most critical issues in global politics and turns them into first-rate adventure fiction. Now a rear admiral and deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Grafton learns from a Mossad hitwoman that Jewish media kingpin Nigel Keren was the victim of a complicated poisoning engineered by the CIA. Grafton and "Toad" Tarkington, his trusted sidekick, are threatened with similar poisoning and, just as they are dispatched to Moscow to oversee the dismantling of the Russian nuclear arsenal, they discover bugs in the DIA offices. Thus begins a dizzyingly complex adventure of apocalyptic importance, staged on three continents, filled with convincingly fictionalized portraiture (there are characters based on Robert Maxwell and Colin Powell; Saddam Hussein himself plays a pivotal role). The issues Coonts confronts--the frighteningly unprotected and undermaintained nuclear devices in the former Soviet Union; factionalism in the U.S. intelligence community; unrest in the Middle East--make this one of the most compelling post- glasnost thrillers to date. BOMC selection; major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Rear Admiral Jake Grafton, aviator-hero of Coonts's Under Siege (1990), etc., now saves the world from potential Armageddon- -and gets to meet Boris Yeltsin and Saddam Hussein in the bargain. The nearly nonstop action begins when an Israeli spy gives Jake's assistant Toad Tarkington a photo that leads Jake and Toad to suspect a CIA cabal at work in numerous evil deeds, including the murder of publishing magnate Nigel Keren (read: Robert Maxwell) by way of ``binary'' poison--poison that, because of the duo's sleuthing, may next be used on them. But despite the threat, Jake and Toad soldier on with their next assignment: to monitor the dismantling of Soviet nuclear missiles. The pair's sojourn in Russia allows Coonts to indulge in his usual soapboxing (``In case you haven't noticed,'' says Jake, ``Russia is a third-world shithole'') even as Jake and Toad meet with beetle-browed generals and try to avoid being poisoned by the CIA cabal. Meanwhile, an anti-Yeltsin KGB faction blows up a Russian nuclear-weapons site, causing a meltdown that may kill a million (```Another million,' Jake Grafton roared savagely. `God in heaven, when will it ever stop?'''). As Russia erupts in panic, Jake learns that the meltdown covered up the theft from the site of several warheads that were then sold to Saddam Hussein. After Jake confers with Yeltsin, the admiral and Toad's pilot-wife take to the skies to bomb the reactor's remaining missiles, shooting down renegade KGB jets in the process. Jake then exposes the CIA cabal and retrieves the stolen warheads through a raid on Iraq--where both the outlaw KGB leader and Saddam himself make a big mistake by getting in Jake's way. Coonts's plots are getting as overcomplicated as Tom Clancy's, but his flying-and-fighting scenes are as exciting as ever. Chalk up another red, white, and blue ace for the author and his jet- jockeys. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2897 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (Dec 28 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GTLSBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,473 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 12 2015
Format: MP3 CD
This author’s creation of Jake Grafton gave us one of the most exciting good guys in contemporary adventure literature. Now (following Under Siege) we meet Grafton as a rear admiral and deputy director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), a position that shoots the stakes up even higher when the future of our country and perhaps the world are involved.

Grafton is informed by a Mossad hitwoman that a Jewish media giant, Keren, was killed via poisoning thanks to the CIA. The same fate could be waiting for Grafton and his reliable friend, “Toad” Tarkington. As if that weren’t enough just as they are being sent to Moscow to oversee the dismantling of the Russian nuclear arsenal they find bugs in the DIA offices. Apparently this arsenal could be taken by mercenaries or even insane Russian nationalists. Grafton must stop this, but there are those, very dangerous ones who don’t want him to be able to do so.

So begins a thrilling adventure that takes us across continents, and into the minds of some of the world’s most vaunted and complex leaders.

Author/voice performer Benjamin L. Darcie delivers one more 5 star narration of one of the most compelling thrillers to be found.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't believe I made it through the book, this is the first book in a long time that I have been tempted to drop in the middle. The plot is very interesting and at times kept my attention. It also got more and more improbable as the plot grinded its gears through the book. Jake Grafton is apparently some kind of god and can do anything and go anywhere apparently without authority from anyone else but himself. The book would have been alright if these were its only flaws, after all it is a novel and I expected to put my disbelief on hold while I read (not everyone can write like Clancy).

The major problem with the book is the writing. All the characters are extremely one dimensional except maybe Jack Yocke. The dialogue is awfully written and can't Coonts think of any other word for helicopter besides "machine"!? There were numerous plot holes, but I will concede that Coonts made an effort to fix them though somewhat lamely.
This book may be OK for people who have read the other books in the series and have already gotten used to the characters, but if this is going to be the only Coonts book you read, steer clear because it could be your last.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "The Red Horsemen", Admiral Jake Grafton travels to post-Soviet Russia to monitor the dismantling of that country's nuclear arsenal. Stephen Coonts, Grafton's creator, brews up a tale of crooked Russians, homocidal CIA agents and black market nukes being sold amid the disintegration of Russia. Unfortunately, the story bogs down quickly when Grafton gets to Russia - mostly because the plot becomes overly complicated, but also due to the sheer implausibility that Coonts inserts into the story - like Grafton's single-handed destruction of a formation of highly agile Su-27 fighters while himslef flying only a hoggish Su-25; the novel's climax has the hero meet Saddam Hussein face-to-face and exact a measure of justice in an ending that seems incredibly pat for Coonts. Even that ending would seem worse had it not capped off a book full of plot twists that don't come together. Coonts' original "Flight of the Intruder" was a great book because it resisted the temptation to become the sort of technothriller that "Horseman" is. Instead, take out "Cuba" in which Coonts returns to form.
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I think that the Kirkus review (above) hits the nail on the head when it claims that "Coonts's plots are getting as overcomplicated as Tom Clancy's." The problem is that Clancy is a much better writer than Coonts; where Clancy *might* have been able to make this mess work, Coonts executes a 'gear up' landing. This story has mass murder, characters poisoning one another, agencies of the United States government conspiring against one another, all pretty dark themes. Sadly, the story is also dark, as in muddy and incomprehensible. Characters aspire to become one dimensional, and in the end are placeholders, flat scenery, making expository speeches which seem to exist only to explain their point of view. At one point in the book, when Jake Grafton and Rita Tarkington (an American female naval aviator) take off in Russian jets from a base inside Russia to track down the bad guys, the Russian mechanics sabotage the planes in manner calculated to kill the pilots - this only rates an aside in the book. If you're looking for a Coonts book which carries off themes like these well, please let me reccomend Coonts' "Minotaur". It's also pretty grim, but done much better, and is one of the best "spy novels" that I've read.
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Stephen Coonts's very best so far! A well-researched, fast-paced and easy-to-read thriller which deals with the story of a nuclear power plant explosion, caused by a renegade general intent on using the disaster to gain him access to a tactical nuclear weapons storage depot, to sell them to Saddam Hussein. Meanwhile, members of the CIA are dropping down like flies in a binary poisoning plot which claims the life of a British newspaper tycoon(a thinly fictionalised Robert Maxwell) and could have been lifted from THE X-FILES. The flying sequences are as ever, as brilliant as Dale Brown with all the autheticity and fully-explained technics you could want, and it's interesting to see Jake Grafton handle Russian fighters for a change! The final scenes in Saudi Arabia and Iraq provide an excellent backdrop to the mission to retrieve the stolen warheads, and the Moscow scenes are also authentic and well-researched. Once again, like Tom Clancy's CARDINAL OF THE KREMLIN, it brought back memories of my visit there. Well done Stephen Coonts, and an ideal starting point for those new to this excellent author's work!
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