“The Threat”

David Poyer

It’s remarkable for any series, especially one from the ranks of genre military thrillers, to maintain its originality. Too often the author of this type of book paints himself into a corner like Tom Clancy, who has gone so far into his alternate history that he may never emerge, or becomes a Rush Limbaugh style ranter like Dan Brown. Happily Poyer’s “Tales of the Modern Navy” (AKA the Dan Lenson series) continues to deliver character development and human interest along with the action.

Poyer’s latest follows “The Command”. Lenson has taken a White House job and is being set up as the Oswald in an assassination plot. The intended target is an anti-military philandering liberal president. In the military thriller genre, such a character normally plays the role of villain. This convention is turned upside down in “The Threat” but to go on would spoil the plot so I’ll say no more except to quote these pointed lines from the novel:

He thought of what Washington, and America, had been when he was young, and of how much had changed. From protest to conformity. From openness to secrecy. From confidence to carefully inculcated fear.

Sometimes he thought the dream of democracy might be ending. As it had for Rome long before. Bringing a new imperial age. Dictatorship. Slavery. And unending war.

If the choice was empire, then the threat was clear. The threat would be America herself – her power, her violence, her blind, crusading arrogance.