The Republic of Palm Island gets some uninvited visitors one day. Mercenaries lead by the ruthless Andrea have managed to infiltrate the small Caribbean island nation. In a coordinated attack they seize the Presidential Palace and destroy the small police force, taking the popular president and his family hostage. Using his family they force the president to announce there was an unsuccessful coup and he has brought in outside help to restore order. Andrea uses treats against his family to basically create a puppet government. Her goal is to turn the island nation into a criminal enterprise with money laundering for drug dealers and gambling.
Yet rumors of this takeover get out and soon the President of the U.S. has to restore the government of this island nation. Enter the Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airbourne) known as The Night Stalkers. Lead by Captain Jefferson Davis “Oz” Carson this elite helicopter unit paired with Delta Force takes on the heavily armed mercenaries.
So I heard about this series from Paul Bishop’s blog. You can read the post here. This was an action series from the early nineties about his special anti-terrorist unit of helicopters/Delta Force unit. I’m glad I found this series on E-bay for a reasonable price for it has proven to be an enjoyable read. This first book had a unique premise and was full of action. The author came up with some interesting stories for this series and I highly recommend giving it a try if you like action books.
Claudia Kincaid is a young eleven year old girl who feels unappreciated by her parents. So she decides to run away. She doesn’t want to just run away but run to somewhere. Somewhere comfortable, beautiful and preferably elegant. So she chooses the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. She recruits her nine year old brother Jaime to accompany her. Jaime is the one with all the money for he cheats at cards with his friend and has a whole $24 dollars. The two successfully take the train to New York and go to the museum. They hide in the restrooms just before it closes and they have the place all to themselves. They sleep in the old beds. Bath in the fountain in the restaurant and collect change in the fountain to supplement their income. In the day they mingle with school tour groups.
The museum has a brand new exhibit that is attracting crowds. A statue of cupid that might be a work of Michelangelo. It was bought from the reclusive Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler for a bargain price of $225. Experts are still divided that this is a genuine Michelangelo sculpture. Claudia becomes obsessed with the mystery and embarks on solving it. A mystery that leads her to the Connecticut home of Mrs. Frankweiler.
This was one of those books that they read to us back in fourth or fifth grade. For some reason it came to mind and doing a quick Google search I found out the title. This was one of those books that I remember well since the premise was so fun as a kid. I mean who wouldn’t want to run away to the museum. Now some things are probably a bit dated. I don’t think with modern cameras and alarms that this could be accomplished today. This is still a charming book that is enjoyable forty some years later.
It is the near future of 1987 and the Ayatollah Khomeini dies. This leads to a power struggle within the Islamic Republic of Iran. On one side the mullahs. On the other an army general who stages a coup. The coup manages to take Tehran and some other major cities but the mullahs remain in control of a good part of the country. The mullahs turn to the Soviets to help them in the war. They send in troops and the army general turns to the U.S. which starts sending troops and supplies. Soon the Marines land at the strategic oil fields and the Soviets threaten to attack with nuclear weapons. In steps Triad with a plan to defuse the situation. They plan to free a dissident mullah held by the regime. The cleric is a moderate who supports neither the Soviets or America but has broad support among the population. His government would restore the status quo of an Iran in neither of the superpower spheres. So they must rescue him and convince the Soviets to also accept this alternative. Otherwise the world will be plunged into a nuclear war.
So for the final book in the series the author sets it in Iran. He envisioned factional fighting and a civil war after the Ayatollah’s death. He was only off by his death two years but there was speculation of what a post-Khomeini regime would be like. The reality was that the mullahs grip was strong and they remain in power to this day. But they didn’t know that at the time. A plausible scenario that ratcheted up the threat to a possible full blown nuclear war between the U.S and Soviets. I love the realpolitik approach by the author to solve the crisis. Just return the status quo with them assassinating the pro-western general and the Soviets taking out the head mullah. An exciting story to end the series.
So the series ends. I hope that the author enjoyed writing it for I don’t think he had much success in achieving a more sophisticated espionage capability for the U.S. In fact I think this was probably not read by many and remains an obscure series. Some real Books that Time Forgot. I personally enjoyed the series and wish I discovered it when it first came out. I would have loved to see where this series would have continued. But for now it is more of a historical curiosity to those like me who love the old cold war thrillers.
In the near future a border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana threatens the peace of the region. Guyana has a socialist government and receives massive aid from the Soviets in weapons and advisers. They also get seasoned Cuban troops fresh from Angola. Tensions escalate and soon a shooting war starts. A war that sees the inexperienced Venezuelan army lose ground to the Cubans. Naturally the U.S. is concerned about the threat to Venezuela’s oil and calls on Triad to defuse the situation. They start by finding the secret Soviet staging area in Costa Rica a country destabilized as all the region is by insurgencies. They gather a force of anti-Communist refugees to launch an attack on the base. They also have to stage an assassination of a KGB official and make it look like an accident to preserve the status of their main Soviet double agent Mr. Clean.
The third book in the series has the crisis in South America. Wow times have changed to have Venezuela a U.S. ally fighting Cubans and a Socialist government. This definitely does feel dated. Still for the times is was a fairly accurate scenario. Guyana did have a Socialist government and the border dispute is real although has never became anything serious. Central America was envisioned as being engulfed in guerrilla wars which was where the region seemed headed. I like how it accurately portrays a U.S. government paralyzed politically from getting involved and the Byzantine machinations that Triad uses to accomplish it’s objectives. Another enjoyable book in this little known series.
In the near future of 1986 Turkey has had a military coup. The military government has not done a good job of running the economy so decides to start a war with Greece to distract peoples attention. They declare that disputed waters are now Turkish. To back it up they invade and occupy some islands off the coast. The Greeks respond and now two NATO allies are at war. The Soviets exploit this by backing Greece with arms shipments and sharing intelligence. At the same time Enver Hoxha the leader of Albania is dying. The Soviets see this as an opportunity to reclaim a former satellite nation and invade. The U.S. seems in a no win situation as events spiral out of control. Enter Triad the Global Crisis Task Force. They come up with a plan to parachute a squad of Green Berets into Greece and go over the border and attack invading Soviet forces. The plan is to provoke the Soviets into violating the Greek border and driving Greece back into the NATO fold.
The second book in the series deals with the tensions between Greece and Turkey. There have been numerous incidents between the two over the territorial waters of the Aegean. Several times this almost lead to a shooting war. Even now the countries don’t get along. So this scenario was a very real possibility. Throw into this a Soviet invasion of Albania and you have a nice little crisis that could spiral out into a much broader war. The author once again weaves an exciting tale of this conflict and the Triad response to contain it the best way possible.
It is the near future of 1986. A new President Creighton Turner has created a new team to combat the growing tension with the Soviet Union. The Global Crisis Task Force is to consist of four experts in political, economic, communications and intelligence affairs. They are to formulate contingency plans and prevent the crisis from occurring and to arrest the crisis if it does occur. Reporting directly to the President they are code named Triad.
Their first assignment is a crisis in North Africa. Libya with the backing of the Soviets are fomenting trouble in the two pro-western nations of Tunisia and Morocco. In Tunisia they are backing an Islamist leader and giving material support to an armed invasion of that country. In Morocco they are providing military aid to the Polisario insurgency in the Western Sahara. Both threaten to bring down these pro-western regimes and tip the balance of power in the Mediterranean. Triad must work at turning a corrupt Soviet agent codenamed Mr. Clean because of his bald head to gain valuable intelligence. They also have to lead a group of dissidents into Libya to destroy an anti-satellite installation.
So this is the first of a series from the eighties. I remember seeing it and thinking that it sounded interesting but never actually getting it. Well thanks to the internet I was able to acquire this series and see what its all about. I found it a very intelligent and interesting read. The group Triad was mainly about defusing the situation so it didn’t spin out of control. The geopolitics at the time are portrayed accurately. The only thing that bothered me was that they had an F-16 land and take off from a carrier. Otherwise everything in the book seems accurate and believable.
W.X. Davies is a pseudonym for a well known writer. I have never found out who this mysterious well known writer is. He states that the purpose of the series is to “entertain and argue for a more sophisticated espionage capability for the U.S.” I don’t know if he succeed in the second but the first was a success. Also the Strategic Operations Group was an informal advisory council whose military, intelligence and security experience provides much of the background for the stories.
I can’t find anything on this group so I don’t know if it still exists. They did a good job of providing the politics of the countries but could use a lesson in modern jet fighters.
THE MONSTER FLY
Sam and Charlie are hiding out from the police outside Yuma City. They see what looks like a plane crash and decide to get out before the police arrive. They drive to the crash site and find a giant ball that changes color. It releases white spheres from an opening. They hatch giant flies which attack them. Later the citizens of Yuma City are attacked by giant flies.
TO THE MIDDLE OF THE EARTH
Captain Leo Leopold is in a meeting with the President of the United States. Seems that Dassia is drilling to the center of the Earth to plant a bomb. They then can threaten to blow up the Earth unless their demands are met. So Leo is to drill down and leave a device that will neutralize the bomb. So he drills down and ends up in Hell with the devil waiting for him.
THE MEN FROM OUTER SPACE
Two aliens Kral and Gak land on a strange new world. They are attacked by a giant centipede. Then they are crushed by the foot of little Billy Cranshaw. The two year old makes sure no more visitors will ever come to planet Earth.
THE TIME MACHINE
Red and Billy are two bums looking for a warm place to spend the night. They come on a garage and see a guy who is building something leave. Going in they find that the thing he was working on is a time machine. They try it out and end up in 1944. The appearance of the machine causes a car to hit a ten year old. When the two go to help they find out it is Red as a child. They jump back into the machine and go back to the present. Only Red is not their. Billy goes to the police and finds out that Red dies as a child in 1944.
Robert Harrison is upset at his family. They seem content with their lives. While getting drunk mechanical arms come out of the wall and restrain him. His family continue on as if nothing has happened. Later in the morning they join the neighborhood as they go out and play sports. A tram comes along with aliens to see the human exhibit. A voice warns not to feed the humans but the aliens do anyway. As his family go to get the food Robert cries.
Cindy is driving home in a winter night in Kansas. A snowstorm causes her car to break down. Luckily a truck comes by and gives her a lift. The man seems friendly but mysteriously talks about saving a lot more lives. She is dropped off at an old couples home and finds out the man is a ghost. He died in a crash that killed a bus full of kids and now goes around trying to make amends.
THE SPIDER GOD
Captain Billy Joe Smith is with some South Vietnamese soldiers checking out a village. A building is still standing and they chase a VC into it. A fight ensures and Billy sees it is some temple. Filled with cages of spiders and an idol of a giant spider. Billy puts out his cigar in the eyes of the idol offending the Spider God. Years later in Denver him and his little daughter are attacked by hordes of spiders. Back in the village the idols eyes then start to glow signaling that the god has been avenged.
So this was a book that I checked out of the school library when I was in second grade. It is written for young kids and has illustrations on every other page to show what the story is trying to convey. The illustrations by Richard Maccabe are crude but effective in visualizing the story. I still vividly remember the drilling to Hell and meeting the Devil and the human zoo. The stories were quite effective on a young mind that I still remembered them after all these years and decided to search out this book. An enjoyable nostalgic trip back to my childhood.