Some books by Stephen Coontz include “Flight of the Intruder,” “Liars & Thieves” and “Saucer.” Coontz is a former Air Force pilot known for writing thriller novels that often have an emphasis on aviation.
Based on Coontz’s experiences as a pilot during Vietnam, “Flight of the Intruder” focuses on squadron leader Jake Grafton and his deep guilt for the deaths he has caused during the war. As the novel opens, Jake’s love of flying has given way to a sense of confusion over the incessant violence of war. While the book is a rollicking adventure, Coontz also takes care to map out the deep psychological trauma that characterizes the participants in any war.
“Liars & Thieves” stars Tommy Carmellini, an ex-burglar turned CIA agent who first appeared in another of Coontz’s “Jake Grafton” novels. Carmellini takes center stage in “Liars & Thieves,” which centers on a KGB defector who escapes to the United States with seven suitcases full of classified documents. A massacre at a government safe house, and the revelations in the documents put Tommy on the trail of a shadowy government conspiracy.
“Saucer” sees Koontz make gestures toward science fiction, spinning the tale of a young archeology intern who discovers a flying saucer submerged in the desert. As government forces and military organizations squabble over the saucer, protagonist Rip and his friend Charley decide to steal the spacecraft, leading the governments on a chase around the world.