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Night of the Hawk
By Dale Brown

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Night of the Hawk
By Dale Brown
Thorndike Press - Large Print, (1992)
ISBN: 1-56054-892-4
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Suspense

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - October 1, 2001

Everyone thought that First Lieutenant David Luger died a hero. That is, until he turned up, alive, working for the Russians, helping them to develop a stealth bomber. While it appeared that Luger had become a traitor, the truth was far different. Five years before, Luger had been captured by the Russians. This unfortunate event occured when he attempted to create a diversion, so that his crew members would have a chance to escape from a Russian Military base in Siberia. They had been forced to land their airship on the base in order to steal fuel for their hungry bird. Luger's diversion worked, and the crew escaped. Luger was not so lucky.

Severely wounded, Luger was captured by the Russian's who deviously reprogrammed him. Their reprogramming was so successful that Luger actually forgot who he was, and fully believed that he was Doctor Ivan Sergeiovich Ozerov, a respected Russian scientist. Once it becomes known that Luger is alive, almost everyone thinks that he has voluntarily become a traitor. However, General Brad Elliott, his former friend and co-worker, knows that Luger would never willingly aid the Russians. As no one else seemed to be interested in saving Luger, Elliot organizes his own rescue mission.

The attempt to rescue Luger is overshadowed, and made more difficult, by the increasing unrest in Lithuania, where Luger is working. While the rescue of Luger is a major plot element, a parallel, and just as important element is the growing pains being experienced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The CIS is the conglomeration of states formed when the Soviet Union disintegrated. Many of these 'states' are not happy with the borders, and the power, that this new arrangement has provided them. This point is aptly illustrated in this book when a faction from Byelorussia makes a military move to conquer Lithuania. Their goal is to absorb Lithuania into the Byelorussia kingdom, stripping the country to feed the needs, both material and politically of Byelorussia. Worse, this nefarious Byelorussian faction is more than willing to use nuclear weapons to achieve their goal.

Night of the Hawk, by Dale Brown is a fascinating story that touches a bit too close to the truth for comfort at times. The story is well plotted, and fast paced. The only problem I had with this novel is that Brown spends far too much time, for my liking, listing, in detail, every weapon used. At some points, I was surprised that he did not list the serial numbers of the weapons. While I found his detailed descriptions of the weapons a bit much, I'm sure that it will be riveting reading for gadget and weapon fanatics, and for those who have actually used the weapons described. Ignoring these descriptions, I found this to be a thrilling and spectacular techno-thriller. Not only do you have two, overlapping stories to hold your attention, but the story also serves to educate the reader about the threats that could arise if the CIS becomes unstabilized. It also provides insights on how and why the KGB, and other agencies, still exist, only under different guises.

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The large print edition of Night of the Hawk is currently out-of-print.

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