Sting of the Drone

Sting of the Drone

Book - 2014
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"In Washington, the Kill Committee gathers in the White House's Situation Room to pick the next targets for the United States drone program. At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personnel and intelligence officers follow through on the committee's orders, finding the men who have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death. On the other side of the world, in the mountains where the drones hunt their prey, someone has decided to fight back. And not just against the umanned planes that circle their skies, but against the Americans at home who control them. Clarke not only remains an active and respected presence within the national security community but also appears regularly as an expert commentator for ABC and other media. His insider's expertise is on full display in this breathtakingly realistic novel set within America's contentious drone program"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250047977
Branch Call Number: F CLA
Characteristics: 294 pages ; 25 cm


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Jun 23, 2015

Interesting insights into the US drone program. Pretty good story.

May 28, 2015

It’s been a long time since I gave 5 stars to a book, but this one had me eager to turn the next page all the way through. As the title and reviews indicate, it is themed entirely on drones, in particular, military drones, although a few civilian ones play a role.

Of course, drones are a controversial topic, with objectors conjuring up visions of Big Brother and an oppressive surveillance society, while supporters, apparently including the author, are glad the U.S. finally has an effective weapon against the jihadists bent on attacking and killing Americans. I see both sides of that argument and the politics of it play no role in my rating. I just thought it was an exciting thriller. Of course there are plenty of explosions, death, and cool technology described, so if that’s not your thing, skip it.

Full disclosure: I’m a retired FBI agent and an owner of a DJI Phantom quadrotor, i.e. “drone”, so perhaps that colors my view. Drones can be useful tools for public safety agencies, including fire and police departments. I use mine responsibly for aerial photography, such as for scenery or videoing events (at the request of the organizer). I think of it as an aerial tripod, that’s all. I don’t spy on people and I don’t fly where it would bother people or endanger anyone. I wish I could say the same about all multirotor owners, but there have been some pretty irresponsible folks posting videos of crashes or injuries (of the drone or its owner, not cars or others) they caused by flying irresponsibly, so I don’t want my positive review of the book to suggest I approve of the sort of reckless cowboy mentality some owners have. Real life is not a video game, folks.

I will also say that, based on the FBI scenes in the book, there is a lot of exaggeration of the capabilities of the technology and an understatement of the bureaucracy involved. I doubt drones can do half of what is depicted, at least with the ease and efficiency described in the book. That’s okay; this is fiction. A real-life James Bond couldn’t do the things the book/movie version does, either. Just read it for its entertainment value and you’ll enjoy it.

P.S. Several Goodreads reviewers pointed out some typos or other errors. I checked where they indicated and my library copy is free of the mistakes mentioned. They seem to have been fixed in the final editing.

Aug 31, 2014

One super read - I thoroughly recommend this "drone" genre. I assume all of the technical material is likely reality - somewhat scary in this regard

ChristchurchLib Jun 08, 2014

"Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke's chillingly plausible tale centers on the consequences of using drones in lethal attacks half a world away. In Sting of the Drone, a survivor of a drone attack uses his contacts to declare war on the drone program and its operators. Soon, they're being killed off one by one as a team scrambles to protect them. Full of technical details when it comes to the U.S. military and its state-of-the-art weaponry, this thriller provides plenty of insider information and rising tension -- and "sets the standard" by which other thrillers will be judged (Publishers Weekly)." Thrillers and Suspense June 2014 newsletter

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