U.S. Army colonel Peter Thorn, former Delta Force squadron commander and counterterrorist expert, harbors two passions. One, he loves to lead the troops. Unfortunately, for the past six months he's been logging more time behind a desk than behind enemy lines. So, when he hears of an opportunity to investigate a plane crash in Russia, Thorn jumps at a chance to once again see some field action, as well as to rekindle his second passion: a partnership with FBI special agent Helen Gray.
Gray and Thorn have led cases together before, although this time they've both been instructed by the U.S. government to take secondary roles to the Russian task force investigating the crash site. By nature, Thorn and Gray can't sit on the sidelines for long, and within a few days they have found inconsistencies in the case. Deciding to investigate further, they manage to attract the attention of the Russian police, a German ex-Stasi, and the U.S. government, all of whom, for their own reasons, want the pair off the case.
But the twosome agree that the case can't be closed. If their hunch is correct, it appears that someone has stolen a Russian nuclear warhead. By going undercover, the two have a chance to avert a potential catastrophe, although it means directly disobeying government orders. As a result, they must finish the investigation alone. Colonel Thorn will soon find himself in situations that draw on his years of training in armed combat (as well as skills honed playing flight simulation computer games!).
Though Day of Wrath does have its clichéd moments and awkward dialogue, the book is made interesting by Bond's knowledge of nuclear warfare and intelligence strategy. Anyone with a head for military hardware and a penchant for post-Cold War intrigue will enjoy this technothriller. --Kris Law
From Publishers Weekly
A by-the-numbers affair about a terrorist nuclear attack on the U.S., Bond's lackluster latest begins when FBI agent Helen Gray and U.S. Army colonel Peter Thorn arrive in Russia to investigate the mysterious crash of a Russian cargo plane that happened to be carrying a team of American arms inspectors. The local authorities try to make the crash look like an accident, but their thinly veiled attempts at deception fail to convince Gray and Thorn, who quickly find evidence of a hidden shipment of nuclear missiles and embark on a hunt that takes the duo across Europe, where they are betrayed by a high-level FBI mole, and eventually leads them home?to Washington, D.C., where a corrupt Arab prince is masterminding plans for a lethal warhead launch. An engaging, adventurous romantic couple, Thorn and Gray have a flair for high-risk solutions that pushes the pace in the second half of the book. But Bond spends far too much time in the first half following the missiles on their labyrinthine journey, and there's nothing terribly innovative or exciting in that part of the narrative or any of the subsequent plot twists. Readers who enjoyed the high-stakes hijinks of Gray and Thorn in The Enemy Within may find their curiosity piqued, but there's little in this tale to separate Bond's fifth novel from the flotsam and jetsam of the genre.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.