Cohen, William S. Blink of an Eye. Forge: Tor. Nov. 2011. c.368p. ISBN 978-0-7653-2764-2. $24.99. Fiction

Set in the near future during an election year, Cohen’s second political thriller (after Dragon Fire) deals with the U.S. government’s response to a nuclear explosion that destroys a major southern city. Weeks before the blast, during the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, terrorists, apparently Iranian, attacked an American amphibious transport. At the same time, a secret group of U.S. military and political figures conspired to bring about Armageddon by pressureing the President to wage war against Iran despite lack of proof of its involvement. Tasked with tracking down the culprits, national security advisor Sean Falcone must race against time to avoid catastrophe. VERDICT The effort to provide not only realistic but accurate detail about government bureaucracy, as might be expected by a former secretary of defense, bogs down and overwhelms Cohen's plot. So many new characters are sketchily introduced that the reader needs a scorecard to keep them and the plot straight. The villains are a pale bunch, and the only real tension occurs near the conclusion. Still, this may appeal to those interested in how our government works. Ron Terpening, University of Arizona

Library Journal, 136, no. 17 (October 15, 2011), 72.

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