A Time for Patriots
by Dale Brown
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061990007
Date: 24 April 2012 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
A Time for Patriots, by Dale Brown, begins as an unknown terrorist group flies an airplane containing nuclear medical material into the federal building in Reno, Nevada. The country goes on high alert and Lieutenant General Patrick McLanahan, USAF, Ret. happens to be in a plane flying a Civil Air Patrol mission in Northern Nevada.
Patrick is a recurring character in Dale Brown's books, and in his active duty days he was head of the US Space Defense Force. Now Patrick lives at Battle Mountain Air force base with his son, Bradley, and still serves as an adviser to the US President. The United States has suffered a severe recession, with law enforcement forces, including the FBI, cut in half. The Space Defense Force is being disbanded and unemployment is very high. Skymasters, Inc. was heavily involved as a government contractor for the Space Defense Force and its owner is still very close to Patrick and his family.
As normal for Dale Brown novels, plenty of advanced weaponry is present. Patrick has an experimental computer device implanted in his eyes and is able to access satellite communications in any location. Two advanced war fighting robots made by Skymasters, Inc. are "Tin Man" and "CID" or Cybernetic Infantry Device. Both are manned robots that use microhydraulics to accentuate movements and strength. The president elects to use the advanced robots in a surveillance role to monitor the local group of the Knights of the True Republic that is suspected of the terrorist bombings and whose compound is near the Battle Mountain Air Base.
The plot settles down at that point as local law enforcement, the FBI and members of the Battle Mountain Civil Air Patrol gather information to try and hunt down the terrorists. The mystery takes lots of turns and is fun to read. I already mentioned the advanced weaponry, and numerous other things make the novel into a fun story to read. There is lots of distrust between the locals and the FBI team on the scene at Battle Mountain. Patrick is a widower and is raising his young son alone. The FBI suspect that Patrick is involved in the terrorist plots and uses his son as bait to find out more about the father. Patrick McLanahan tiptoes very close to the law in some of his actions, but of course it helps to make Patrick into the super-character he is and makes a great story.
I really enjoyed A Time for Patriots. I look forward to reading future novels by Dale Brown.