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FORTUNES OF WAR opens with one of the action-packed sequences for which Stephen Coonts is famous--the assassination of the Emperor of Japan. A right-wing Japanese government trying to cope with economic depression and foreign competition has opted to solve its problems by helping itself to the vast natural resources contained in the Siberian wilderness. The murder of a reluctant emperor is the first step on that road to conquest.
America responds by sending a squadron of F-22 Raptor fighters, its newest super-planes, to wrest air supremacy from the new Japanese Zeros in the skies over Siberia. Colonel Bob Cassidy commands the squadron, but he is a reluctant warrior with a troubled conscience. Flying one of the Zeros is a graduate of the U. S. Air Force Academy, Jiro Kimura, whom Cassidy treasures as if he were a younger brother. Chips in the stormy seas of national destiny, these men are driven by fate toward a bloody confrontation.
Meanwhile, an obsolete Russian diesel/electric submarine, on an errand to clear a wrecked freighter from a seasonal port when the war begins, manages to avoid destruction at the hands of a Japanese anti-submarine patrol plane crew. Captain Pavel Saratov knows that the boat and the men aboard her are doomed, but he decides to fight, for honor if for nothing else.
FORTUNES OF WAR is a tale of the last warriors, fighting not for glory but because life has dealt them that card. This fast paced, dazzling book is packed with aerial and underwater action and the exquisite character studies that have made millions of readers into Stephen Coonts fans.
FORTUNES OF WAR was Stephen Coonts' seventh novel, his first for St. Martins Press, and his first without Jake Grafton as the hero. Set ten years in the future, Coonts thought the tale wouldn't be right for Grafton. Colonel Bob Cassidy, Jiro Kimura, and Captain Pavel Saratov are wonderful heroes, professional warriors who fight their nations' battles even if they don't believe in their country's political goals. They are warrior/patriots. Some fans rate FORTUNES OF WAR as one of Coonts' best novels. A few even say it is the best. Read it and form your own opinion.