Shortly after takeoff, a jumbo jet explodes over the waters of Long Island. Witnesses claim the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile; the government insists a mechanical malfunction brought down the airplane. An old CIA file is uncovered which details the President was warned-to preclude commercial airliners from being shot out of the sky either pay a ransom or suffer the consequences.
Mark’s interest in spies and spy planes began when Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union, splashed onto the headlines. He passed on The Hardy Boys and read everything from Alistair MacLean, Ian Fleming, and John le Carré. It was a natural fit to see his protagonist as a pilot and a spy, flying a little-known spy plane to get deep behind enemy lines and hunt down the world’s worst terrorists.
His Duncan Hunter books reflect his experiences as well as his love for all things aviation. He flew the fighter jet of his childhood dreams, the venerable F-4 Phantom II, while in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in senior leadership positions with the Marines, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Air Force before leading aviation activities and aircraft operations for international corporations in the Washington D.C. area. He also served as an Assistant Professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teaching graduate-level aviation-related courses. He earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and holds an MBA in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.