Author: Tom Young
Publisher: Putnam Adult (2011)
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages
Four years after the events of The Mullah's Storm ("an irresistible adventure story"-USA Today), jihadists strike the Afghan National Police training center in Kabul, killing many and wounding others, including Sergeant Major Sophia Gold. The injured are hurriedly loaded onto a C-5 Galaxy bound for Germany, but once airborne, the commander, Major Michael Parson, receives a message. The jihadists have placed bombs on some planes leaving Afghanistan, and the Galaxy is one of them. If Parson tries to descend-the bomb will go off.
Parson, Gold, and everybody else aboard are trapped at altitude, until either they or someone on the ground can figure out what to do. They can refuel in midair, but not indefinitely. The aircraft is deteriorating, the condition of the patients is worsening, the crew is tiring-and their biggest challenges are yet to come. The enemy is all around . . . and will take surprising form.
Don't bother to set your alarm clock… you'll still be reading this book when it goes off in the morning!
Thomas W. Young's "Silent Enemy" is a real page turner. After a terrorist bombing leads to a mass casualty event, the US military hastily arranges a medevac flight from Afghanistan to Germany, where patients—both American and Afghan—can receive the medical attention they so desperately need. By chance this flight (in a specially-configured C-5 Galaxy cargo jet) reunites the two main characters from Young's earlier novel, "The Mullah’s Storm."
Captain Michael Parsons (now C-5 pilot and aircraft commander) and Sergeant Major Sophia Gold (who was slightly injured in the terrorist bombing) have every reason to expect an uneventful flight; but what unfolds on that flight is anything but "normal." Shortly after takeoff, they learn that a bomb and perhaps other “surprises” have been placed on their jet and that they’re not the only ones in this predicament. As a result, no country wants the stricken jet to land on its territory. This leads to a near globe-spanning journey that repeatedly tests the abilities of all onboard. Rather than droning along at high altitudes on autopilot, the crew and passengers face a harrowing series of challenges: bombs, hurricanes, irate Venezuelan fighter pilots, volcanoes, suicide attacks, and much more face this hapless C-5 crew.
The reader gets hints throughout the book of an existing relationship/attraction between Parsons and Gold—especially given the ordeal through which they had to struggle during the first novel. However, no one has time to work on relationships when they must deal with a seemingly endless series of life-threatening events, which are thrown at the crew in quick succession.
If you crave nonstop action, “Silent Enemy” will not disappoint.
Reviewed by: John Cathcarat (November 2011)