The Patriot Attack is the latest offering in Robert Ludlum's Covet One series. This series typically concentrates on bio themed plots with a bit of nanotech thrown in for good measure. This volume is written by Kyle Mills and suggests a hard line nationalistic cabal within Japan that is intent on challenging China and willing to rumble with anyone who gets in their way for global domination. Perennial Covet One agents, Jonathan Smith and Randi Russell go toe to toe with the Japanese military, Chinese intelligence, and even mobsters to avert global catastrophe and armageddon.
As a straightforward espionage novel, this offering is a bit lacking and almost borders on fantasy as despite over 20 years of a pitiful economy in Japan, the reader is told that in fact, Japan has been engaging on technological wizardry in material science (fantastic armor), incredible offensive military weapons (super torpedoes), next generation cyber capabilities (besting the NSA), and sci-fi nanotech (critters that eat any man-made material). If even a fraction of this had actually been possible, Japan could have been dominating the global economy, relegating China to 2nd class status. At the same time, Smith is injured right at the beginning and never gets back to 100%. Meanwhile, Randi, suborns a bunch of civilians and gets them killed. Overall, the plot was a too contrived and strained credulity. Tradecraft was afforded inadequate attention with Covert one operatives simply calling on friends and random "experts" for advice. The eventual denouement over China had a made for TV movie quality affair. It would seem that Covert One is running out of steam and creative concepts. Perhaps a new administration will retire Klein and mothball the group or maybe outsource them to a contract service.