By: Richard A. Clarke
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publishing Date: May 2014
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: May 1, 2014
Sting of the Drone is the latest suspense/thriller by this author that will definitely make the reader sit up and take notice. We’ve all heard about drones and the destruction that they cause without killing the military people that send them to their targets. In this particular story, the pilots and the people who operate the drones are in a desert location and go home at night to their families without a scratch. This is a lot safer than flying huge bombers over enormous oceans, as in previous conflicts, when the pilots don’t walk away free. They still have to keep close watch that they don’t have any collateral damage (innocent people coming into range of the drone) and when they do, they feel responsible, much worse than in hand-to-hand combat.
The American drones, both Predator and Reaper, as they are called, continue to punish the nation’s enemies, or as they are called, the people who fit the profile of an enemy. From a site in the desert of the US, controllers (pilots) use joysticks, much like video games to strike at targets many miles away on the back side of the world. And, what is an enemy to do but strike back, blow up parts of America, such as subway systems and kill the controllers of the drones in the US. As an enemy named Ghazi says, “We have had enough of drones and are going to go after them and swat them dead. Maybe we can capture a drone and use it against America.” The bad guys think that they are about to make the Americans stop using the killer drones. And then the fun begins! The scenes jump from place to place on different continents. The author writes a fabulous story using folks who will remind the reader of Clancy’s Jack Ryan exploits. This book doesn’t have one particular hero, unlike Jack Ryan, but a team of heroes who prevent revenge on the US. The enemies in this story are determined to stop the drones and the Americans are just as determined to stop them. One of the scariest parts in the story deals with what might happen if the enemy also had drones and had the power to put their pilots into offices a world away and blow America off the map.
This extremely well-written novel builds suspense by the minute. The reader follows the terrorists who are executing their plan of using home-made bombs to attack the US near the Christmas holidays and also using a stolen drone to kill their own innocent people and make it look like a US drone attack against an orphanage.
Quill says: This story brings us back to the horrible days following the attack on the Twin Towers and, of course, the picture of those two magnificent buildings falling to the ground.