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Book Review: Tiger's Claw

The following review by Elise Cooper is an exclusive for BlackFive readers.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking here or on the Books category:

DalebrownDale Brown’s latest book, Tiger’s Claw, proves once again that he is able to bring to life a thrilling and dramatic story that could be in the headlines in the near future.  Currently China is in a position to challenge America militarily, economically, and politically.  After reading Tiger’s Claw people might understand how the Chinese-American rivalry will play out. 

The plot starts out with a powerful China and a US weakened by an economic downfall.  After China launches its first successful test of its anti-ship ballistic missile the US President, Kenneth Phoenix, fears the America will lose its naval supremacy.  Because America is recovering from a massive recession and has no funds to compete with China’s advancing technology the President enlists the support of retired US Air Force Lt General Patrick McLanahan.  His idea is to have the US refurbish old but potent long-range bombers that will be able to push back against Chinese aggression.  After being given the green light he leads a force to challenge the Chinese threat head-on.

Dale Brown told BlackFive that he wanted to alert his readers by creating a doomsday scenario, especially since sequestration appears to be going forward. Sequestration is the trillion-dollar budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, passed by Congress last year.  As of January 1st, 2013, half of those cuts must come from defense, $500 million over a period of ten years. Brown stated, “I decided to paint a picture where China gets strong enough, rich enough, and bold enough to enforce their historical claims of the South China Sea.”

This book is about outsourcing America’s defense to private contractors.  Since Brown was a USAF navigator in the B-52G Stratofortress bomber and a radar navigator in the FB-111A supersonic bomber he definitely knows about how long-range bombers work.  He uses his past knowledge to show the need for long-range bombers because of China’s distance and their 100 million soldiers.

In one of his past books, Plan of Attack, he created an American Holocaust, having Russia wipe out two-thirds of America’s nuclear capability, leaving only submarine cruise missiles.  His books previous to Tiger’s Claw are about a militarized space, but because of the real-life budget cuts Brown had to create a universe that “adapted to the real world.  Thus, I came up with a story about outsourcing American fighters.  I got the idea from viewing the Boneyard at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.  B-1 bombers were just sitting out there.  I had the idea to dust off these airplanes and re-build them with modern systems capable of flying long range.”

As with all his books the military hardware and technology have been the main characters to support the plot.  He told BlackFive, “The characters live to support the gadgets.  After twenty-five years of doing this I decided that character development must be secondary to the plot.”

Tiger’s Claw is a very insightful and interesting book.  Readers will be able to gain an understanding on where the next danger could be for America’s military.  It has an interesting and fast paced plot that is very realistic.