||Patrick McLanahan, a sometime secret agent for the military and an associate of a high-tech company that manufactures weapons for the armed forces, is the hero of Dale Brown's fast-paced thriller The Tin Man. When McLanahan's kid brother, a rookie cop in Sacramento, is severely injured by a gang of international terrorists, McLanahan decides to take justice into his own hands and shut down their operation. In order to do so, McLanahan must figure out who these heavily-armed thugs are and track them down. He and the owner of the high-tech company develop a powerful weapon to help him accomplish that task--a bulletproof suit equipped with rocket thrusters that makes McLanahan a formidable fighting machine. McLanahan soon comes to be known as the tin man.
Meanwhile, the criminal mastermind Gregory Townsend and his cohorts in the Aryan Brigade wreak havoc in California. They stage a violent armed robbery and try to wrest control of the booming trade in illegal drugs from neo-Nazi biker gangs. Townsend tells a new recruit that he and his men plan to become "the Microsoft of the methamphetamine trade"--but it seems likely that his goal is even larger and more sinister than that. This book should appeal to fans of Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers. Like Bond, McLanahan gets to use a lot of cleverly-designed high-tech gadgets to extract himself from sticky situations. The Tin Man is packed with skillfully crafted action scenes. It's a pretty good yarn. --Jill Marquis