Veil of Deception: Michael Byars Lewis
Plots are often formed in order to reel in a prey and make them believe something that is not true. It’s a simple trick or scheme orchestrated to get the person what they want at any cost to the mark or their target. Deceiving them is not an issue and the end result may be taken things you don’t really need from people that fall for your line of deception and get you want you want. The items in question might be things you don’t need or really want but by making them believe they are helping you, that person might go on a ride that will lead to their downfall. Jason Conrad is an instructor at Vance Air Force Base and loves to fly. When he takes on a flight student and the plane malfunctions and they have to eject was it an accident crash of his jet or was it poor flying? But a reporter named Dale wants to fry him in the news and will do anything to bring him down. But, Jason is connected to a powerful Senator, namely his father Jonathan Bowman and unknowingly will be recruited and enlisted for a top-secret job that will take him inside Trencor with an assignment that will lead to Russian assassins and learning that your father is involved, the love of his life vanishes and a routine practice flight that went wrong sets all of this in motion.
Dane Robinson is a television reporter out for Jason and hoping to destroy Jason and his career. But, why? Jason having problems in the past figures he is about to get a severe reprimand and fired or dismissed from duty, but instead he gets the job of a lifetime, the chance to be part of a pilot project and fly a new age fighter jet called the F2000 being created by Trencor a Chinese run company and the Department of Defense. Sent to Edwards Air Force Base his entire life is about to change but underlying the job offer and the invitation is the owner of Trencor, Mr. Ming and his agenda is anything but honorable. Cent owns the technology for this plane and his father is the head of the project. When dealing with those in charge the esteem Senator states the rules, the qualifications and restrictions for accessing and getting the technology Trencor wants and this sets off even more steam as Mr. Ming wants to own the technology and will not go for the deal as stated. Just where does Jason come in and when his long lost love Kathey Delegato resurfaces will he realize that it’s just a ruse to help Ming get what he wants?
There are many threads within this plot and different factions each vying for control of this new fighter plan at any cost. Top secret, hoping to keep it quiet, Jason finds himself caught in a web of lies, deception and an retired General who wants to bring him down. With Kathy once again in his life, things not appearing what they seem will he survive or will she accomplish both of her goals? Moving from Oklahoma to California and now her appearance out of nowhere should have set off red flags but his feelings get the best of him and things are about to spiral out of control even more.
The start of the story begins with investigative reporter Sherri Davis using her mind and body to get information about what they have planned, the secret project and taking a great risk with her life as she is targeted when she completes her mission. Jason becomes embroiled in the F2000 project and Sherri reappears and together they will have to find out the secrets behind the project and take risks that might cost one or both their lives.
Sherri was sent to find out more about why six Saudis were dealing with two Americans to check out a fighter plane. Staking out the area once again she is seen and is forced to get away and lose the tail. Taking chances is her job but risking her life to find out what these men were up to might lead her into a more dangerous situation as we learn more about Jason’s reaction to Kathy, her appearance and her actions which seem odd and different. Within this complex novel the project manager Georgiana gets caught up in what is happening in Trencor and becomes too curious for the head. Finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once cost her dearly.
Sherri manages to meet with Brent an aeronautical engineer and learns something about Trencor but not all. As Major Jennifer Walton makes her move on Jason leaving the General out in the cold for now but Kathy resurfaces and the playing field changes. With Wellington trying to tell Ming about what might happen as a result of the death of the project manager at Trencor, things begin to take a different turn as the police might look closer into her death as not a suicide, but murder and take a closer look at what is happening in a company that has a huge facility and few employees. As Jason and Sherri meet in a bar, they do not realize that this chance meeting would turn into much more. Thinking he is going to be a T38 pilot little does he know that he is involved in the F2000 secret project that has the government and Trencor spending millions. His orientation is quite interesting especially since Walton has her own agenda but meeting with Brent and Curt Swanson would enlighten him to what he is supposed to be doing as a student pilot testing out a powerful new plane. But, things are not what they seem and Sherri is focused on what the Saudi’s have to do with this, what plane do they want to buy, who is behind it as we meet another General working with LiBoung, who is supposed to be loyal to Ming but has his own agenda with Operation Dragonfly.
An encounter with three thugs leaves Kathy injured and the three dead. Her resourcefulness in healing her wounds is quite interesting but her reaction to Jason should have set off more red flags since her greeting and behavior was odd. With Brent and Sherri joining forces to find out what is really going on at Trencor and the death of the program manager a murder yet not classified anything but a suicide, there are many threads to this plot and they are all separate at this time but Author Michael Lewis is about to tie the knot and link them together. But, someone puts it all together and realizes just who Kathy is and someone else finds the flaw in the F2000 and the end result for learning a harsh truth is something you just won’t believe. As we watch Samson take off and do the simulation and hope that the flaw and the plane won’t fail or malfunction, someone else is controlling it from the outside and the end might be near for him and a warning to Jason is vital but will he listen and realize that the deceptions woven were meant to take him and others down. Each character has something to hide and no one is straightforward as Sherri a reporter for the New York Times and Brent O’Malley an aeronautical engineer team up to find out what is really behind Trencor and their goal to create this fighter plane.
Several people were killed starting with the program manager, one of the test pilots and others might be targeted as Wilkinson takes the controls, Ming closes down operation Dragonfly, the Japanese team leaves and Jason’s training has been stopped. Kathy has disappeared and although he cares about her nothing is being done to find her even though she is a Russian mole. Sherri, Brent and Jason are about to team up to find the truth behind the many lies, deceptions and veils that some are hiding behind before the truth about the F2000 is revealed and the final flight plan delivered and executed.
Brent finds Georgiana’s flash drive and the information is quite compelling as the truth behind Truncor is revealed. Not only are they into creating the best fighter plane but they are not into cloud seeding as Ming thinks but chemical warfare and they are stockpiling a dangerous gas. When Brent reveals what he knows and Sherri is blindsided by Dale Robinson more lives are a stake as Brent disappears, Dale’s rental car explodes and Jason and Sherri are left to figure out the rest.
When Jason finally realizes what is behind Trencor and what they are trying to do the final scenes are heart stopping as he calls his father but will he be able to save him from what Wellington has planned? What about Sherri and her story for the Times will she go along with what Jason tells her? An ending that is explosive, powerful and makes you wonder to what extent many countries and governments will go to hide projects, keep their motives hidden and create a fighter plane well you have to read it for yourself to find out just what the F2000 did or can do and how the author uses his experience as a fighter pilot to bring this story to life. Just how many veils are their hiding the truth and who is behind them: Veils of Deception: You won’t know the truth until the final veil is lifted!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine