The high point of "The Red Horseman" is the aerial dogfight between Jake Grafton (flying a Russian Su-25 "Frogfoot") and four Russian Su-27 "Flankers", with most of the action taking place below 200 ft. altitude! Stephen Coonts is very good at writing about this kind of combat, and you really feel that you're right there in the cockpit with Jake.
This book is the fifth or sixth (depending on how you number them) book in the Jake Grafton series. By now Stephen Coonts had established himself as a worthy competitor to Tom Clancy, and in my opinion his books are better than Clancy's. In particular, the characters in a Stephen Coonts book are real people, and people you enjoy learning more and more about.
In the first two-thirds of "The Red Horseman" the story unfolds slowly, but satisfactorily, as an international political thriller. Jake, now a Rear Admiral in the American Defense Intelligence Agency, is sent to Moscow to help monitor the Russian dismantling of their nuclear warheads. The CIA is also involved, but not in the way we would expect, and of course some warheads go missing.
The last third of the book becomes a techno-thriller. The hunt is on to retrieve the missing warheads and to ensure that no more will be stolen. In addition to the great dogfight mentioned above there is a very detailed description of how a major military operation to secure an enemy airfield would be done nowadays.
I found this last section of the book to be the most interesting and exciting part. The whole thing is rather unrealistic, but the reader is willing to ignore that because it's so exciting. Unfortunately, I thought that the ending was a bit too far out, and this is part of the reason for the lack of the fifth star.
Also on the negative side, I found Stephen Coonts opinion of post-glasnost Russia overly derogatory. He has his characters saying "nothing works here" and "Russia is on its way to the stone age" so many times it becomes silly. This is especially true with the hindsight we have now that Russia did survive the Yeltsin era and is slowly but surely becoming a developed country by western standards.
A very interesting sub-plot in "The Red Horseman" involves the death of a British newspaper mogul named Nigel Keren. Stephen Coonts has very clearly modeled Nigel Keren on the real-life Robert Maxwell. Even their dates of death are identical!
In conclusion, a very good techno-thriller, up to the usual Stephen Coonts standards. If you like military techno-thrillers with lots of political skullduggery, then this is for you.