After a particularly long cruise, the USS United States is in port in Naples and her crew is enjoying its first liberty in months. But something's not right. Several crew members have not reported back from their leave and a beautiful American reporter who boarded the United States in Tangiers may not be a reporter, or even an American. When one of Jake's men, in a hotel in Naples, witnesses an assassination attempt led by this woman, Grafton realizes the situation is much more serious than he suspected. What he doesn't know is that Colonel Qazi, an international terrorist, plans to board the United States and steal six nuclear weapons from her heavily guarded arsenal. Nor does he know that the plot is being financed by El Hakim, the power-hungry leader of an oil-rich Arab state. And most important, he doesn't know he, Jake, past forty and recently grounded by night blindness, is the only one who can stop Qazi, in one man-to-man aerial dogfight, one "final flight."
This biography could be entitled, West Virginia Boy Becomes a Very Successful Author....... but that would be too obvious. Author, Stephen Coonts was born and raised in Buchanan, West Virginia, a small town of 6,000. He led the typical life of any boy growing up in the 50's and 60's.
He was born in 1946, and ended his childhood by graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in political science. As happens with many poli-sci grads, he had a law degree in mind, but first he served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and began flight training in Pensacola, Florida.
Coonts received his wings after completion of fleet replacement training in the A-6 Intruder aircraft. After serving in the Vietnam War as an attack fighter, he served as a flight instructor, and did a tour of duty on the USS Nimitz. Upon leaving the Navy, he entered the University of Colorado School of Law. After receiving his law degree, he moved back to West Virginia to practice for a couple of years. But, his career took him back to Colorado where he specialized in oil and gas law.
Finally, in 1986, he published his first novel, Flight of the Intruder, which became a huge success, being on the New York Times bestseller list in hardcover. Later, a movie by the same title was produced based on his novel, and was released nationally in 1991. All of his books have been published in several different countries.
Currently, Coonts lives in Colorado with his third wife, Deborah, He continues to write novels from Colorado.
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