Patrick McLanahan, a sometime secret agent for the military and an associate of a high-tech company that manufactures weapons for the armed forces, is the hero of Dale Brown's fast-paced thriller The Tin Man
. When McLanahan's kid brother, a rookie cop in Sacramento, is severely injured by a gang of international terrorists, McLanahan decides to take justice into his own hands and shut down their operation. In order to do so, McLanahan must figure out who these heavily-armed thugs are and track them down. He and the owner of the high-tech company develop a powerful weapon to help him accomplish that task--a bulletproof suit equipped with rocket thrusters that makes McLanahan a formidable fighting machine. McLanahan soon comes to be known as the tin man.
Meanwhile, the criminal mastermind Gregory Townsend and his cohorts in the Aryan Brigade wreak havoc in California. They stage a violent armed robbery and try to wrest control of the booming trade in illegal drugs from neo-Nazi biker gangs. Townsend tells a new recruit that he and his men plan to become "the Microsoft of the methamphetamine trade"--but it seems likely that his goal is even larger and more sinister than that. This book should appeal to fans of Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers. Like Bond, McLanahan gets to use a lot of cleverly-designed high-tech gadgets to extract himself from sticky situations. The Tin Man is packed with skillfully crafted action scenes. It's a pretty good yarn. --Jill Marquis
From Publishers Weekly
The tag line "This time it's personal" comes to mind in Brown's 11th techno-thriller (after Fatal Terrain). Instead of foreign countries and the threat of WWIII, international terrorism hits the streets of Sacramento, Calif., in the form of Gregory Townsend, who is apparently out to unite California's motorcycle gangs and corner the amphetamine market. His one mistake is wounding the brother of Brown's series hero, veteran Patrick McLanahan, during the robbery of a mall. The resulting mayhem is a tribute to Brown's storytelling abilities; it's an unlikely but successful mix of a revenge plot, a meditation on vigilante justice and a superhero-origin story. McLanahan becomes a one-man army, known as the Tin Man, with the help of some cutting-edge technology from his current employer, a defense contractor. It turns out that Townsend's ultimate aims are not quite what they appear to be; Brown's intentions are just as slippery. While the dark side of vigilante justice has haunted pulp fiction heroes like the Avenger and comic book heroes from Batman to the Punisher, it's a rarity in thriller fiction, which usually likes to keep things black and white and far from home. Brown does the opposite in this novel?he gives this modern Batman a hard-edged twist and a dose of techno-reality, and through a neat plot twist shows how the power to survive and to commit violence is both painful and seductive. Bottom line, it's a page-turning start to a fresh new direction for both Brown and McLanahan. And now that the Tin Man is part of Brown's universe, it will be interesting to see what Brown makes of him. Major ad/promo; simultaneous BBD Audio.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.