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Recommended Reads: Dragonfire by William S. Cohen

Written by Chris Routledge, 25th September 2008

Continuing our series of recommendations from inmates of Walton Prison, here is Martin's take on a thriller written by the former US Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen.


by William S. Cohen.

I cannot praise this book enough. When I first got it, I thought that it would just help pass the time – boy, was I wrong.

The book opens with the American Secretary of Defence being assassinated. The main character, Michael Santini, current Wall Street banker, former US Senator and Vietnam POW, is rapidly handed the keys to the most powerful military office in the world. The action kicks in and it is a race against time to stop World War Three – threats coming from militia thinking Uncle Sam is giving the good American people the middle finger, to Russia Mafia, to terrorists and ‘rogue nations’.

The level of detail in this book is truly mind-blowing. The author quite knows his material, from the layout of the inner echelons of the Pentagon to the insanely annoying military and political acronyms they throw out like party favours.

I think the main character, Michael Santini, is a work of art; you come to understand his likes and dislikes, often pre-empting the author. He is a no-nonsense man banging his head against the wall that is American politics.

What I like is that William Cohen is not afraid to paint a realistic picture of America, the way the various intelligence chiefs go about petty one-upmanship, showing that if they pooled their resources a lot more might get done quicker and more effectively. He also shows how the country uses the threat of economic and military sanctions to bully other nations.

The author in addition portrays people who truly believe in what the United States stands for: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I feel he is saying that America’s position as the only remaining superpower is under threat from a rapidly emerging China, a sentiment I share.

Dragon Fire presents a terrifying series of events that will leave readers wiping their brows. Written by anyone else, it would remain firmly in the realm of fiction. But William Cohen leaves you wondering exactly what Joe Public isn’t being told in the interests of national security.

A definite must read.

Posted by Martin

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