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Foxbat Reviews (1)

These reviews were submitted on www.amazon.co.uk and elsewhere on the Internet, and have been edited only to correct spelling mistakes.

"OK, I like James Barrington's writing, and to be fair, Foxbat is a good thriller which moves along at a fair enough pace - it just doesn't match up to either of the first two Richter books which are fantastic reads."

"The two previous Paul Richter thrillers were excellent, especially Pandemic. Foxbat sadly doesn't live up to its predecessors. It's still a good book, but, there's just too much detail. I felt bombarded with numerous Korean/Chinese names and deluged with technical information about planes, silos and missiles. There's actually a 12 page Glossary at the end explaining the techno babble! The action, when it happens, is very good. There just wasn't enough of it."

"Another very enjoyable read from James Barrington. A good plot and plenty of action. North Korea is using all available means to acquire MiG-25 Foxbats from a number of sources along with weapons and spares. Although somewhat antiquated the MiG-25 is still the fastest fighter ever built, but uses old valve (vacuum tube) electronics. Why would they want them? Richter is sent to find out and ends up in air to air combat with the MiG whilst flying the latest version of the Harrier: the GR9. Interesting and knowledgeable comments on the capabilities and problems with both types of aircraft.
Recommended!!"

"I finished this book a few months back, and is another superb addition to the Paul Richter series. Different in feel to the previous 2 novels, it is perhaps the literary equivalent of the "24" series in pace and style with frequent, short scene changes running in a chronological order leading to a plot crescendo. This works well as book number 3 as the principal characters are well established and the narrative can happily sit at the faster pace. Topically relevant, technically accurate and infused with gritty realism, Barrington pulls off the "difficult third book" with style. Recommended, only make sure you read Overkill and Pandemic first!"

"Another masterpiece from this been there, done that author, he really knows his stuff, you won't find any technical gaffs here. A superbly crafted tale about the unrequited desire of North Korea to take over the South, a subject tackled by other notable authors of this genre, Dale Brown for one, but not with quite the panache that Barrington brings to bear. One of those brilliant novels that you just don't want to finish. Recommended unreservedly."

 

"As a thriller Foxbat is a definite page turner. Opening with a covert operation by the SAS in Algeria and closing with dog-fights over Korea the pace throughout is unrelenting. Its certainly a 'polish it off in a couple of days' affair rather than a book to linger over.

            It is however, the least satisfying of James Barrington's novels to date. This is primarily due to a shift away from smaller scale stories of covert action to a larger one featuring geo-political & military events of a world changing nature. This change in focus robs the book of some of the sense of immediacy that both Overkill and Pandemic, his previous books, had.
            It also results in the role played Paul Richter, the hero of Barrington's previous novels, becoming far less significant to the story. The broad scope of the plot means time has to be spent concentrating on other characters involved in events, relegating Richter's prominence. Further more as things develop it feels almost as if his role could have been brought to an end at the midway point and matters handled equally competently by others This results in there being a slight sense from the mid-point on that Barrington is having to work hard to keep Richter involved, to the point where the role he plays in the final third of the book feels vaguely implausible. You can certainly question whether Richter is really the best man for the task he is given considering the stakes being played for.
            Despite these weaknesses however, Foxbat is still several notches above the average techno-thriller. As always Barrington seems to know his stuff from a technical point of view, but doesn't slow the book down with pointless minutiae just to demonstrate this fact. He also manages to maintain an air of realism, despite the inelegant plotting needed to keep Richter involved in events. Finally his action sequences are excellently written; remaining clear without sacrificing a sense of excitement.
            So, for fans of 'high-octane' thrillers this another winner. For those wanting more of the Paul Richter from Overkill and Pandemic however, this might leave you feeling short changed."

"Current affairs are not always kind to novelists. Just as there seems to be a real thaw in relations between North Korea and the rest of the world, here comes a rip-roaring thriller about how evil and nasty that regime is. They have been stealing obsolete Mig-25 "Foxbat" interceptor fighter planes from Russia and elsewhere - but nobody can work out why. There is a decent plot somewhere in this book, but I found it almost irretrievably buried under the piles of "boys' toys" detail. With the evil ones about to invade South Korea and hold the world to nuclear ransom, it's just as well that British super-spook and Harrier jump-jet pilot Paul Richter is on a UK aircraft carrier off the coast of North Korea and is able to fly to the rescue - in the process singlehandedly saving the west from making a terrible mistake."

"I loved the first two thrillers from James Barrington and bought this one as soon as it was released.
The previous works were a great blend of strong plotting with some fantastic characters, the main lead Richter in particular. Richter is a gritty, and effective agent and was like a breath of fresh air, as was the 'British' element to the books. A world where your expenses were checked and you stayed in cheap hotels. Past paced with crisp dialogue, the first two were a joy.
And so to Foxbat...
The naughty North Koreans have a cunning plan to move south into South Korea while ensuring that the USA are unable to support the South Korean defence. This plan involves obtaining a number old MIG 'Foxbats' from various sources and our old friend Richter is called in to investigate when the intelligence agencies realise that something is up.
Sadly, while still a solid techno-thriller, this does not live up to the previous novels. The blend of plot and characterisation is not as strong and the elements that made Richter such a delight are not as evident here. In Foxbat Richter comes over as just another efficient agent but without the world-weary sarcasm and lethal nastiness we have seen before and that is a real shame.
The author calls on his flying experience for some detailed scenes with a Harrier Jump Jet but over all this felt slightly rushed and slightly short. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good solid thriller but it falls a little short of being a stunner like the previous ones. Having said that, will I buy the next one as soon as it hits the shelves? Like a shot."
 

 

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Last modified: Tuesday, 27 January 2009