Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts | Books in Review

Stephen Coonts burst on the techno-thriller scene in 1986 with Flight of the Intruder, a Vietnam War fly boy tale starring Jack Grafton, a young Navy A-6 (Intruder) pilot. Coonts—not surprisingly—flew A-6’s off the USS Enterprise  during the later years of the Vietnam War. After getting out of the Navy in 1977, he went to law school and was a practicing attorney in Colorado when he wrote Intruder .

The rest is techno-thriller history as Intruder  hit the best-seller lists, Coonts began spinning out more of the same. He soon gave up the law for full-time thriller writing. Seventeen of his novels have been New York Times best-sellers. It’s likely that his just-released latest book, Pirate Alley (St. Martin’s, 320 pp., $26.99) will be the eighteenth.


This one co-stars Tommy Carmellini, a CIA operative, and Grafton, who is now the “head of Middle Eastern covert ops for the CIA.” It’s a present-day thriller that involves Somali pirates, American hostages, Al Quaeda, Navy SEALS, and the very real potential for bloodshed on a wide scale.

The author’s website is  www.coonts.com

—Marc Leepson

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