Rockets' Red Glare Paperback – October 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The Amazon-provided description above outlines the basic plot of the story, which is well-written and fairly fast-paced, though it does start off a tad bit slow. That is due to Dinallo setting the stage with several intertwined subplots, all of which have some back-story development and do merge at what seems to be a quite appropriate time in the story.
Dinallo is able to provide fairly detailed accounting of 1962 events as well as the primary 1987 setting of the story. He develops his characters well, possibly due to being a screenwriter where talent for movies is often times, not always, decided by how a character is described and portrayed in a screenplay.
The alternate history scenario aspect is where the bold action taken by President John F. Kennedy, which consisted of six long and grueling days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, did happen, just not with the same results that actually occurred. The Russian plan of 1962 only becomes known to others, outside of a very close circle of Premier Nikita Khrushchev advisors at the time, during the present day setting. And, boy, do the Russians have something up their sleeves!
Scenes occur in Houston, Rome, Moscow, Camp David and the White House, Geneva, as well as others, as characters are developed and the subplots move along. Dinallo pulls you in to the quest of Andrew Churcher, son of billionaire Theodor Churcher, who was evidently killed in an accident. Unknown to only a few Russian higher-ups, the elder Churcher had been trading national secrets for valuable works of art by the masters for over two decades. Churcher believed one, if not many, of the works to be forgeries and confronts the Russians in a threatening manner, at the time when global nuclear disarmament seemed about to be achieved during a NATO summit meeting.
Are the paintings real? Did Churcher really die? Do the Russians have an arsenal of atomic weapons unknown to but a few? Will the German or Italian representative, or anyone for that matter, uncover anything of importance? These are just a few of the questions that await as the clock counts down and everyone thinks global peace may be a reality.
Overall a well written novel that, to me, had some overly written romance scenes that did not really add anything to the novel, but probably would work in an R-rated movie. They do not spoil the tale, they just do not contribute anything of real value. I give it 4 stars as it is not just average (3 stars), it is a cut above due to plot development with all the subplots and characters involved.