Roar of the Dragon, The
Author: Bill Berry
Publisher: Alphabet Publishing (2009)
Binding: Hardcover, 313 pages
My novel is an espionage thriller set in China, Panama and the United States. China has stolen secret information on all nuclear warheads deployed by the U.S. Control of the Panama Canal Zone has passed from the U.S. to Hutchinson Wampoa, an arm of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. The Chinese test fired the DF-31 missile in 1998 and it has a range of approximately 5000 miles. Brian Maguire is chosen to regenerate, develop and operate the Star Wars nuclear missile defense system. Sent to UCLA he meets and falls in love with Lin Li Wu an exotic Chinese beauty. But Lin Li and her brother Lu Chin are deep-cover Chinese espionage agents. As Maguire races to launch the Star Wars system, the Wus race to steal the Star Wars technology and a U.S. supercomputer to implement a Chinese plan to force the U.S. to capitulate without firing a single shot.
Air Force General and computer whiz Brian Maguire had a good life. He had a billet of some importance (working on the Star Wars program) and a beautiful female companion with whom to share his off-hours. Little did he know that she was a Chinese officer and a spy. Maguire is soon thrust into the middle of a plot in which China tries to take over the United States without ever firing a shot. And unless Maguire comes through in a hurry, they are going to succeed.
Bill Berry's first novel, The Roar of the Dragon, is a unique cyber-thriller built around a Chinese web of espionage designed to gain access to US Star Wars satellites. It is fast-moving, with some well-developed characters and a well-thought main idea which keeps the reader curious as to what will happen next. It has all the elements of a good action/spy thriller: murder, sex, blackmail, car chases. Throw in a few power-hungry politicians and 200 ICBM's aimed at the US, and you have one good story. There are a few inaccuracies with regards to some of the military workings of the book, but they don't diminish at all its readability or plot line. At times the book is so believable it's scary, considering it deals with nuclear weapons.
The book is well presented, with a simple, eye-catching cover and a readable font. Techno-fans, as well as spy enthusiasts, will find something to enjoy in here.
Reviewed by: Rob Ballister (2009)