Fourth Crisis: The Battle For Taiwan, by Peter von Bleichert, is a strategist’s dream. Page after page of detailed battle scenes, with U.S. submarines, nuclear supercarriers, and brand new jets, Republic of China (Taiwanese) submarines, and the General of the People’s Republic of China, kept the action moving right up until the edge-of-your-seat ending. Rich description of scenes both on the mainland of China and the island of Taiwan make this a very visual novel as antique carpets and cloisonné vases tell the tale of old money. China attempts to force Taiwan into communism while the U.S. attempts to prevent it. Interwoven throughout the book was the love story of a Chinese American citizen working for the Secretary of State, and a woman from China on a student visa.
Characterization is skillful as we meet a young attractive Navy officer, Lieutenant Cynthia Pelletier and experience the anxiety of her father as she goes off to war. General Zhen tries to assert authority by contradicting the People’s Liberation Army Air Force General Piao Bai’s plan to stage a peaceful, persuasive takeover. Zhen is determined to conquer Taiwan by a show of force. America has provided arms to Taiwan, so they cannot be trusted by China. Ultimately, Zhen hopes to make China the world’s most powerful nation, and it is anyone’s guess whether he will succeed as the balance of power shifts from one country to the next. When Taiwan launches 50 ballistic missiles at Communist China and thousands of civilians are killed, China has no choice but to strike back. Read this exciting novel but don’t expect to sleep until you’re done!
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers