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10 July 2013

Flight of the Intruder (Jake Grafton #1)

Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts is the first book in his Jake Grafton series. Grafton is a US Navy pilot - a character so loved he is in a second series after he retires from the Navy.

At the opening of the series Jake Grafton is a US Navy Lieutenant pilot assigned to the Shiloh aircraft carrier stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam war. He flies the A6-A Intruder. He and his bombardier are sent on many bombing raids into North Vietnam.

While on leave in Hong Kong, Jake meets Callie who works for the State Department. On top of meeting the woman we will spend the rest of his life with, Callie provides Jake with a sounding board for his concerns about the war. The idea that he and his fellow pilots are often risking their lives for patches of jungle that look just like other patches of jungle and the need to find meaning in the death of friends during such flights, causes Jake to circumvent the chain of command - an act that could ultimately put him in military prison.-, if he lives through it.
 
Coonts captures the feel and excitement of flying, the terror of flying in combat and the horror and boredom of war. Fans of airplane fiction like John J Nance will love this series. Grafton is a compelling character. Fans of the new Grafton and Carmellini series will enjoy a look back at Grafton's rise through the ranks of US Navy.

Coonts, Stephen. (1986). Flight of the Intruder. New York: St. Martin's Press.

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