Friday, April 08, 2005

Stephen Coonts,
Flight of the Intruder, 1986,
The Intruders, 1994,
Final Flight, 1988,
The Minotaur, 1989.

Four Jake Grafton novels.

The first one, Flight of the Intruder, has become a movie that's not awful, but the story definitely makes a better book. What the movie does do well is attempting to capture what life is like aboard an aircraft carrier as the pilots of the air wing conduct bombing missions over Vietnam in the dying days of the war. Lots of implausible bits, but on the whole, it affords a view of what life must have been like.

The Intruders, which was written after the other three that I'm posting about here, but is the next in the sequence, is about Grafton's life aboard a carrier immediately after his last tour ended, this team with a Marine A-6 squadron, instead of a Navy squadron, thanks to an ill-advised barfight with a civilian. Really, it's about Jake trying to decide if the Navy will be his career. Sadly, this book's a little too much like Flight of the Intruder and Final Flight, in a way that The Minotaur is not. More implausibility, more general fun.

Final Flight is a nice, riveting thriller about a plot to steal nuclear bombs from a carrier. Nice segue from attack planes to fighters like the F-14, and far more interesting than Top Gun-type crap.

The Minotaur is all about Jake finding a life in the Navy after his flying days are done, and is an intriguing little spy thriller that's quite nicely done.