Red Metal

Mark Greaney (the Gray Man series) and Marine lieutenant colonel H. Ripley Rawlings IV offer a fast-paced, riveting story about heart and courage taking a stand against impossible odds in Red Metal.

A mine in Kenya holds 60% of the world's known supply of essential minerals. Russia discovered, purchased and developed the mine, but is now ordering Major Yuri Borbikov and his troops, who have been guarding the mine, to leave, for reasons he doesn't fully understand. As he and his men file past the Kenyan, French and Canadian soldiers taking over control of the mine, Borbikov is pelted with jeers and fresh ox dung. He vows revenge.

Two years later, a pivotal election is being held in Taiwan. Seeking to reunite Taiwan with China, Chinese special forces assassinate the pro-China candidate, leaving behind evidence framing the Taiwanese government as evil. NATO sends a large military presence to defend Taiwan against Chinese retaliation. Knowing the world will be distracted, Borbikov, now a colonel, pitches a long-gestating plan to Russian president Rivkin on how the country can revive its failing economy by taking back the mineral mine in Kenya. Rivkin gives the go-ahead to the bold plan, which involves an invasion of Europe.

Despite an abundance of detailed military jargon, the writing is taut. Saving the world are a handful of individuals--including an old, forgotten French spy; his military captain son; a tank mechanic; a feisty submarine commander; a helicopter pilot named Glitter; and a Polish barista--suggesting that heroes are made when all hope is lost. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer

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