Dale Brown must love Nevada.
The New York Times best-selling author of military suspense novels moved to Incline Village about 15 years ago.
Books written by the former U.S. Air Force captain usually have a strong international component. "The Tin Man" is one of his few 20-plus novels that stayed primarily in the United States. Brown has included Southern Nevada locales in previous stories, but he has never written a Nevada-centric book.
Brown's latest military thriller, "A Time for Patriots," takes place almost exclusively in Northern Nevada. At first, it seems like a strange location to place a story, since it's one of the most sparsely populated regions in the country.
But once the plot is revealed, it makes perfect sense.
Retired Air Force Gen. Patrick McLanahan has moved with his teen son, Bradley, to the tiny community of Battle Mountain, the seat of Lander County in north-central Nevada. The town has significant mining interests, but also it is home to a top-secret military base that played a major role years earlier in saving the United States after a deadly Russian attack, an event called the American Holocaust.
McLanahan led that mission, and he has now relocated to help train his teen son in aviation and to volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol.
"A Time for Patriots" takes place in the summer of 2013. The U.S. has been hit by another economic earthquake, and newly elected President Kenneth Phoenix has implemented severe austerity measures.
In the wake of the economic collapse, thousands of Americans have turned against their government and have banded together to create armed communities. The Knights of the True Republic is one such community, and it wants to strike back at an unrighteous government.
Brown writes: "There were armies of men, women, and even children throughout the West, willing to risk their liberty and even their lives to stand under the Knights' flag, willing to do whatever it took to wake up a comatose American public, warn them of the danger of those bureaucrats and politicians who wanted more government and more taxation, and call on others to follow them into battle against those who were driving the nation into the ground."
The group attacks the federal courthouse in Reno with a radiological bomb, killing many and spreading radiation everywhere. There's a national state of emergency, akin to the days immediately following the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
McLanahan is thrown in the action, whether he likes it or not. But this time he's not battling Russians, Chinese or Turks — he's fighting his own countrymen and their twisted schemes. He also butts heads with the FBI and local officials. There's a lot of fear, paranoia and distrust. The collapse of the United States of America seems like an all-too-real possibility.
"A Time for Patriots" is a simpler, more focused story than some of Brown's previous works. It also doesn't have the globe-trotting adventures and technical wizardry that have become Brown trademarks (but the Iron Man-like robots do return).
This may be Brown's most realistic story ever — a near-future scenario in which society seems to be breaking down along economical and political lines.
And Northern Nevada is at the center of it all. Whodathunkit?
Northern Nevada setting of Dale Brown thriller 'Time for Patriots’
Dale Brown must love Nevada.