And David Alexander, bestselling master of action, adventure and intrigue, has written Black Manta to deliver a mindblowing high-tech thriller with the shattering impact of a precision-guided weapon which takes the reader closer to the limits of suspense than ever before.
This action-packed technothriller features characters and developments that revolve around a plot that's fast-paced, believable and frightening because it might conceivably happen.
Iran has developed a lethal arsenal of lethal nuclear warheads and long-range missiles that can be launched from the Middle East to strike targets in the United States, but global strategic considerations prevent the Pentagon from becoming directly involved in a mission to destroy Iran's capability to wage nuclear warfare. Moreover, Iran has used Russian and Chinese technology to deploy a system of advanced surface-to-air missile installations equipped with radars that can detect, target, and destroy most known stealth aircraft.
In a bilateral covert mission, a top secret mission mounted jointly by the US and Russia, decomissioned F117A Stealth Fighter aircraft are secretly retrofitted with advanced stealth and missile capabilities. The aircraft, called Black Manta by the Russians, will have both the ability to evade the new counter-stealth SAM sites Iran has deployed, and pack the firepower necessary to bomb Iran's nuclear reactors and nuclear missile launcher sites back to the stone age.
The mission is successful, but something goes wrong with one of the Black Mantas on the flight back to base. Black Manta One and its pilot both go down in the salt pan deserts of central Iran. What's more, the downing has been detected by one of the Iranian radar sites and Iran has launched an all-out effort to recover the priceless military windfall that has come down in the country's midst. At the same time Wasington and the Kremlin have mounted an emergency plan to either recover or destroy the stealth plane before the Iranians can get their hands on it. Not to be left out of the chase, the Israelis are also on the move, with a special recon and recovery team that has orders to stop at nothing to snatch the plane and its pilot before any of the other teams can reach the suspected crash site.
None of the searchers reckon with the fact that the pilot has no intention of letting himself be captured alive, nor his plane recovered intact. The stealth fighter pilot of Black Manta One has found a way to hide the plane in the desert where it will remain hidden until he finds a way to repair the aircraft, refuel it, and fly it back to his home base in Russia.
Black Manta is prime David Alexander. It's a taut, suspenseful, cleverly plotted thriller with the kind of nonstop action and intriguing plot twists we've come to expect from this veteran author. If you want solid action writing by the hardest-hitting pen in the business, then Black Manta is for you.