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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Flight of the Pawnee by Marc Liebman, Derek Almer, a naval aviator and CIA consultant, has just completed another successful rescue mission behind enemy lines. Meanwhile, Harun al-Rashid is honored when he is chosen by Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri to travel to the US and complete an assignment where at least 10,000 are killed. Harun has his sights on the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas which holds over 92,000 people and he begins the execution of his plan. Derek meets and falls in love with Eileen Bertram, the daughter of a retired Navy SEAL, Jack. As they begin to plan their future together, Eileen is involved in a carjacking where her mother is shot. Derek uses his contacts to carry out his own investigations with Jack. He discovers a member of the Mexican Brotherhood and a Muslim were responsible. Derek's worse suspicions are confirmed when he uncovers a serious security risk for the US. As Derek decides to carry out his own form of vigilante justice, it seems the US government wants the truth hidden.
Flight of the Pawnee by Marc Liebman is such a gripping story and I loved the engaging concept of the plot, how terrorists could use nerve gas to target huge numbers of the population. The narrative and dialogue were extremely realistic in terms of military operations. Each of the main characters was given a detailed backstory and was created with a great deal of consideration to ensure their personalities were unique. Derek, the ultimate gentleman, a fearless aviator but with emotional baggage, made the perfect protagonist. I loved Eileen also. Although courageous and independent, her feminity especially around her father and Derek was never sacrificed. Derek's relationship with Eileen was developed beautifully and the chemistry between them was magnetic from the outset. They made the perfect couple as they both had built emotional barriers and it was wonderful to see how they helped each other dismantle them. I loved Eileen's father, Jack. His role in the storyline, although small, was amazing. The action, especially the attack on Camelot, was superb. I also loved how Marc effortlessly entwined all the great sub-plots together. A fantastic read where the suspense and excitement will have you on the edge of your seat.