Posts Tagged Stephen Coonts

BlogTalkRadio Interviews Author Stephen Coonts

The Art of War Author Stephen Coonts Tells It Like It Is

BlogTalkRadioListen to the BlogTalkRadio Interview with Stephen Coonts

Stephen Coonts is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels that have been translated and published around the world. A former naval aviator and Vietnam combat veteran, he is a graduate of West Virginia University and the University of Colorado School of Law.

Listen in as he and our host Rodger Nichols talk about Coonts’ new novel The Art of War and his first novel, Flight of the Intruder, published in September 1986 by the Naval Institute Press, and spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists in hardcover. A motion picture based on this novel, with the same title, was released nationwide in January 1991. (more…)

The Dagger of the Assassin

The Dagger of the Assassin

DaggerThe assassin seems to have been edging his way into the suspense genre for some time now, wrapped in a dark mystique and lurking in the pages of political thrillers, epic and urban fantasy, and even young adult titles. Using what some may deem morally reprehensible processes or tactics they practice the grey areas of their profession, taking out enemies and assorted bad guys leaving minimal collateral damage. We quickly find ourselves drawn to the anti-hero or sympathetic villain, who must do what needs to be done, without the slightest concern for personal welfare – their duty to god and country, or the higher calling always comes first. Operating in the shadows, these are the characters that draw us in, capturing our imaginations.

“Assassin” has different meanings. Maybe it those who kill powerful people for political, religious, or even moral reasons, sometimes doing the world a service. However, in most fantasy literature, an assassin is a person who kills people for money, some practicing a distorted code of right and wrong – others totally free of such entanglements.

The origins of the assassin can be traced back to just before the First Crusade, around 1080, their history preserved within European sources such as the writings of Marco Polo, where they are depicted as trained killers, responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures. With origins with the Nizari branch of the Muslims, these “assassins” were renowned as militant fanatics, fully committed to carry out every request of their leaders.

As I explored this topic I was shocked how prevalent the assassin’s role seems to be in the books on our shelves. Nearly 50 books actually have the word assassin in the title – Ted Bell’s ASSASSIN, Larry Bond’s SOUL OF THE ASSASSIN, Stephen Coonts’ THE ASSASSIN, Barry Eisler’s THE LAST ASSASSIN and REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN, Robert Ferrigno’s trilogy – HEART, PRAYERS, and SINS OF THE ASSASSIN, Brad Meltzer’s THE FIFTH ASSASSIN, THE ETHICAL ASSASSIN by David Liss, and of course Vince Flynn’s classic THE AMERICAN ASSASSIN, and many more.

However, many more assassin lay hidden inside the covers of such books as the GREY MAN novels by Mark Greaney (GREY MAN, BALLISTIC, and DEAD EYE), David Baldacci’s Will Robie Series (THE INNOCENT, THE HIT, and THE TARGET), THE BUTCHER’S BOY, SLEEPING DOGS and THE INFORMANT by Thomas Perry, and who can forget Jack Coughlin’s sniper Kyle Swanson – the latest and seventh in the series being ON SCOPE, but the consummate man behind the gun is none other than Stephen Hunter’s “Bob the Nailer” Bob Lee Swagger – POINT OF IMPACT, BLACK LIGHT, TIME TO HUNT, THE 47TH SAMURAI, NIGHT OF THUNDER, I SNIPER, DEAD ZERO, THE THIRD BULLET and SNIPER’S HONOR.

Power Down Ben CoesBen Coes burst onto the scene IN 2010, introducing us to Dewey Andreas in POWER DOWN, followed by COUP D’ETAT, THE LAST REFUGE and EYE FOR AN EYE. Scot Harvath is the creation of Brad Thor. Harvath is a secret service agent, ex-navy seal, and big time ass kicker. It all started with THE LIONS OF LUCERNE back in 2002, followed PATH OF THE ASSASSIN, STATE OF THE UNION, BLOWBACK, TAKEDOWN, THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, THE LAST PATRIOT, THE APOSTLE, FOREIGN INFLUENCE, THE ATHENA PROJECT, FULL BLACK, BLACK LIST, HIDDEN ORDER and ACTS OF WAR. The Thor Scott Harvath series has recently been reproduced in three volume collector’s editions.

Assassination is one of the oldest tools of power struggles between nations or political opponents, as well as the expressed method of terror by certain psychopathic orders. During the Cold War, the U.S. attempted several times to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan supported an order that stated, “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”

However, in 1986, Reagan ordered an attack on the barracks where Muammar al-Gaddafi was known to be sleeping. Since the rise of al-Qaeda, all US administrations have backed “targeted killings.” In May of 2011 an operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation resulting in the death of Osama bin Laden.

Does art imitate life or vice versa – you be the judge – there is plenty to read!


Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts

Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts

Pirate Alley by Stephen CoontsI was having doubts about the appeal of taking the family on an ocean cruise.  After all, history is loaded with notable sinking’s, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, and more recently onboard fires leaving passengers afloat on multi-million dollar cruise ships that are DIW (dead in the water).

One would think that the cruise industry would be sinking (no pun intended) with all the bad press received of late.

However, a more frightening threat, that can really spoil a vacation is, – well – pirates.  Yes the 21st century equivalent of those ocean marauders glamorized by the stories of the Caribbean pirates Jean Lafitte, Blackbeard and Henry Morgan are active in the oceans of the world.  In fact, BBC News reports that from March to November of 2005 more than 23 pirates’ hijackings were reported along the Somali coast.   So many ships have been attacked in this stretch of ocean that it has been called “Pirate Alley.”

Bestselling author Stephen Coonts has given life to such a story in his latest thriller, PIRATE ALLEY.

With 850 passengers aboard, the cruise ship Sultan of the Seas is captured by Somali pirates who threaten to kill everybody aboard if they’re not paid 200 American dollars. The brutality of the pirates is shown as they wantonly kill most of the bridge crew, throwing both the dead and the wounded overboard.

The pirates aren’t the only threat to be dealt with. An Islamic terrorist group plans to kill all of the passengers after the ransom is paid. Enter Coonts’ returning heroes, CIA department head Jake Grafton and his right-hand man, Tommy Carmellini.  Together, with the help of the US Fleet just offshore, CIA operatives, Navy Seals, a couple of Mossad agents, they set a plan in motion to rescue the hostages while doing the most harm possible to the bad guys.

The situation could have been quickly resolved if not for the interference of Washington bureaucrats, who put their political survival ahead of a quick resolution.  The US Navy is on the scene and Commander Toad Tarkington is ready to wipe out the pirates, but is told to “stand down” by his superiors.

PIRATE ALLEY is a first class thriller with the good guys once again prevailing and the bad guys getting what they deserve.  Jake Grafton returns in classic form and Tommy Carmellini meets every challenge he faces with his calm bravado.

I enjoyed what Stephen Hunter has called “The one-sit-read champion of the season,” and highly recommend PIRATE ALLEY to all fans of the genre.

Now Shipping “Deep Black: Death Wave” by Stephen Coonts & William H. Keith

Deep Black: Death Wave by Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith

Signed 1st editions Deep Black: Death Wave  by Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith are Now Available at VJ Books!