State Scarlet by David Aaron (1987)

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State Scarlet
by David Aaron

Publisher:  G. P. Putnam's Sons
Copyright:  1987

Bob Woodward calls David Aaron's State Scarlet "a powerful, astute, unprecedented thriller . . . a best-seller."  Other advanced readers call it "gripping," "extraordinary," "a combination of Red Storm Rising and Day of the Jackal" (see back of jacket).  It is all of that, and more:  a major suspense thriller of exceptional authenticity -- from an exceptional source.

As senior staff member of the National Security Council, top international negotiator and Jimmy Carter's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs, David Aaron knows more about nuclear security and the intrigues of Washington than most men alive.

And it's all in State Scarlet, a novel of Washington politics, nuclear terrorism and Machiavellian power struggles that is not only a storytelling marvel -- but frighteningly real.

When a caller tells the White House he has stolen a U.S. nuclear device and will set it off in a major European city, nobody panics.  The President sees it as a chance to check the security of the nuclear weapons system; the National Security Adviser sees it as a chance to go one-up in his bureaucratic feuds -- it's a useful crank call.

Except that it isn't a crank call.  A nuclear device really has been stolen, and it really will go off.  And with that knowledge, all hell breaks loose.  The hawks blame the Russians.  The Russians threaten back.  The U.S. goes on military alert.  The Russians cancel military leaves.  Top agents on both sides comb Europe for the bomb, missing time and again.  As the clock ticks away and the checks and balances crumble, the strategy of defense turns to talk of preemption -- and David Aaron sweeps us into a world of unbearable tension, made all the more startling by the unquestionable authority of the details, not only of nuclear security but of the cynical maneuverings within both governments.  As State Scarlet rushes to a climax that is as totally unpredictable as it is completely satisfying, we know we are in the presence of a major new writer of dramatic suspense.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover is lightly discolored, shows a bit of edge and shelf wear.  Pages are tanning from age.  Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper.


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    • ISBN 0399132430
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