Dale Brown, the master tactician of the military novel, has another spellbinding thriller in "Tiger's Claw." (William Morrow, 400 pages)
What Tom Clancy's blockbuster "Hunt for Red October" did in highlighting the precarious relationship between the superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Dale Brown's "Tiger's Claw" will alert America to the Red Dragon - China - and her quest for domination of the South China Sea.
While this novel is set in the future, Brown prefaces his work with "real" news excerpts which attest to the growing tensions between America and the awakening superpower of the People's Republic of China.
In 2014, China is flexing her muscle. She completes the test of a missile capable of taking out an aircraft carrier - the backbone of America's fleet.
As further proof of her malevolence, a vessel surveying the South China Sea for petroleum and natural gas reserves is attacked by the Chinese.
Days later, the American rescue and reconnaissance plane sent to the area mysteriously disappears.
The United States and China appear headed towards war. The situation is especially perilous, as America is suffering from a severe economic downturn and has a very depleted military reserve.
President Kenneth Phoenix must call upon the one man who might dissuade the Red Dragon from provoking World War III - retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Patrick McLanahan.
In his most dangerous mission, McLanahan must protect the United States military base on Guam, which is all that stands between a Chinese conquest of the Pacific and the fiftieth state in the Union - Hawaii.
Brown's "Tiger's Claw" is a thought provoking and terrifying novel as the author envisions a bellicose China with an arsenal of extremely high-tech weapons that could easily challenge American supremacy.
While Brown's work is fiction and one prays that his plot never materializes, the threat of China's growing dominance of the Pacific region may be related to the fact that President Obama announced plans to greatly increase U.S. military presence in Australia.