Arc Light is the debut novel by Eric L. Harry, a techno-thriller about limited nuclear war published in September 1994 and written in 1991 and 1992.
As China and Russia clash in Siberia, and war brews between the United States and North Korea, a series of accidents and misunderstandings lead to a Russian nuclear strike against the United States.
The U.S. retaliates against Russia, and World War III begins.
The novel becomes part military techno thriller, part political drama as heated internal debates concerning the right course of action in the war unfold on both sides while each government tries to deal with the colossal damage the nuclear strike has done to their countries. Moderate voices try to prevent a second nuclear exchange by taming the hawks and working behind the scenes to arrange a ceasefire. Meanwhile, the on-the-ground consequences for civilian and military alike are explored in depth.
The novel focuses on three key groups:
National Security Advisor Greg Lambert and his immediate political superiors: President Walter Livingston, his successor and the National Security Council.
Major David Chandler, US Army Reserve, as he is activated and sent to Europe where his unit spearheads the allied advance towards Moscow.
Chandler's wife, Melissa, as she struggles with the birth of their first child in the midst of a nuclear war.The title refers to the term arclight, which was a code during the Vietnam War for a strike by a B-52. This term is used in the opening pages of the book.
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