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Final Flight (Jake Grafton Series) by [Coonts, Stephen]
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Final Flight (Jake Grafton Series) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 401 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The final flight of Capt. Jake Grafton will keep readers riveted. His night-flying's over, thanks to failing eyesight. But the fate of the Middle East is hanging in the balance when his F-14 tears off into Mediterranean airspace. Coonts has cast the hero of his first novel, The Flight of the Intruder , as a wing commander aboard an aircraft carrier. He has also thrust him into the bulls-eye of an Arab plot to steal the ship's nuclear weapons. Sounds absurd, as Coonts intends. But the plot's mastermind, one Col. Qazi, is an unequaled artisan in the guild of espionage and terrorism. Qazi has devised a scheme whose twists and turns alternately elude and thwart Grafton and more than one intelligence agency in their attempts to figure out what he's up to. By the time it's clear, Qazi is pitted against the carrier's crew, and the odds are believably on his side. The backdrop is Naples, and the well-detailed lives of Navy pilots. Final Flight has a long fuse, but its detonation is well worth the wait. 300,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


A disappointing semi-sequel to ex-naval aviator Coonts' best-selling and lustrous 1986 aviation-combat novel, Flight of the Intruder. Hero pilot Jake Grafton is back, as is Coonts' fast attention to ordnance detail, but where his first novel soared on the strength of a deep passion for the flyboy life, his second nose-dives, stalled by a lumbering Forsythish plot involving an Arab scheme to strip Jake's aircraft carrier of its nuclear weapons. Coonts opens with promise, detailing in manual-tight detail a flight by Jake - now 42, a captain, and air-wing commander of the carrier USS United States, patrolling off Lebanon - to buzz a Soviet bomber. Soon Coonts turns to land-based happenings, however, and the narrative lurches like a drunken sailor on shore leave. And so he introduces his villains, Kaddhafy-clone El Hakim and his right-hand man - lean and hungry Col. Qazi - and their diabolical scheme to use the carrier's nuclear bombs to make their fly-blown nation the world center of Arab power. Side by side, the two plot lines glide on - vivid takes on carrier life as Jake deals with a host of problems (including his fading night vision, cowardly fliers; Congressional tourists, a love-sick junior officer); and tin-plate conspiratorial scheming as Qazi sets up the nuke snatch via meets with a Mafia boss, an American arms dealer, and a kidnapped American atomic scientist. When the carrier docks in Naples, the story-lines collide head on and explode in a frenzy of noisy mayhem but little suspense as Qazi's terrorist band storms the ship, wipes out a chunky portion of the crew, and helicopters off with two bombs. In a limp twist, El Hakim orders the bombs flown straight to Israel for instant nuking; not one to see Tel Aviv turned to ashes, Jake flies off in pursuit and towards a heroic/tragic ending. Heavy publisher promo and happy memories of Coonts' first could send this one scaling up the best-seller list, but under its own power this too busy, freight-laden offering would never get off the ground. (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1177 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (April 24 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IYI6QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Final Flight" really appealed to me as a techno-thriller where at least most of the people came across as real people, not shallow clichés.
Most of the story takes place on the aircraft carrier USS United States, and I found the descriptions of how a modern aircraft carrier functions fascinating. A ship like this and the aircraft on board it are an incredibly complicated yet awesomely powerful fighting machine.
Stephen Coonts describes in detail many of the procedures involved in launching and recovering the airplanes on an aircraft carrier. The level of complication is such that I found myself surprised that these things function at all, let alone function reliably.
The assault on the aircraft carrier by a group of ruthless terrorists, and its defense by the seamen and marines made great reading. I also loved the description of the dog fight between the lone F-14 Tomcat and four MiG-23 Floggers. This was a real edge-of-the-seat climax to the story.
As mentioned above, I found it appealing that most of the characters in the story actually come across as real people, with real people's problems and worries and motivations and good sides and bad sides. Also, the U.S. Navy is depicted as an organization with certain deficiencies, such as excessive bureaucracy, suppression of private initiative and lack of rewards for individual thought.
This is in contrast with most techno-thrillers, where all the characters are stereotyped and shallow "good guys" or "bad guys", and the western military organizations are the epitome of efficiency and functionality.
Despite what I've just said about the characters, I did find the top bad guy somewhat unrealistic, and this is the reason for the lack of the fifth star.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was Coonts�s first sequel to the unmatched �Flight of the Intruder�, bringing Jake Grafton back (for the first and � it seemed in �88 when this book came out � last time). While �Intruder� took place during the Vietnam war, �Final� has �Cool-Hand� Grafton flying F-14 Tomcats in our times. Though nearly court-martialed at the end of the older book, �Final� starts off years later with Grafton on the nuclear aircraft carrier �United States�, having achieved the vaunted position of �CAG� � the air-wing commander, and the highest ranking aviator a board. (In �Intruder�, Grafton deliberately attacked an unauthorized target; just as Grafton�s career appeared doomed, President Nixon unleashed the �Christmas Offensive�, and the brass realized that they can�t very well court-martial a gung-ho fighter pilot for striking back at the Vietnamese when the President declares an all-out air offensive.) Grafton�s job is frustrated by the degree of bureaucracy that stands between him and getting his job done.
Unfortunately, this isn�t helped by his ship�s position in the Med, where it attracts the attentions of a sinister arab mastermind, Col. Quazi. Owing his services to a fanatic arab leader with whom he is at odds, Quazi nevertheless plans and executes a daring and bloody infiltration of Grafton�s carrier, with an eye towards its �special� weapons (okay, its nukes!
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By A Customer on Feb. 26 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book had all the making of a best seller. A great plot exciting and doesn't let the reader go. I personally found this one of Stephen Coonts best books ever. The reality of the events of this book almost makes it seem like a real event.
This book has everyone involved. The US, Christians, Arabs, Jews, Atheist, and the rest of the world are all in trouble. The Arabs are after the US again. This time they are trying to capture one of their nuclear weapons. They are shown as experts in black mail as they "recruit" the people they need to complete their mission. They plan to use it to destroy all the religions that oppose them. They infiltrate the supercarrier USS United States. Jake Grafton is losing his vision and his pilots as problems start to occur on the planes. Still the problem falls on him. The Arabs make it into the carrier and take hostage the Admiral using him they get 7 nukes in to the coppers and fly away. It is now Jake's job to catch and destroy the Arabs before they can use the nukes. The ending is one of a kind.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Say it isn't so! Jake Grafton, Stephen Coonts' hero of at least two other novels, has reached the pinnacle of naval aviation by becoming the CAG on the "United States" . . . and now age is catching up with him? He's a career navy officer, has a terrific wife, but he may have to quit flying because of a silly little problem with night vision? With all of the problems that Stephen Coonts weaves in the Middle-East, it doesn't take much imagination on the part of the reader to guess that we haven't yet seen Jake's final flight.

Stephen Coonts has outdone himself in "Final Flight." The character and plot development are superb. Jake and his wife Callie are again at the center of the story, but there are plenty of other interesting people. I'd like to read more about Toad, one of the F-14 weapons officers who flies with Jake - and that Judith! -- wow!

If you only read one Stephen Coonts book, this is the one to read. The book easily stands on its own for readers of all interests. (If you're into aviation, you'll want to read "Flight of the Intruder" and "Intruders" before reading "Final Flight." These two books will give you some very good lead-in information about Jake.
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