End Game is a powerful geo-political thriller set in 2018 that describes the build up to a confrontation between the navies of the world's superpowers, US and China off the Horn of Africa. Two seemingly unrelated incidents - the massacre of US medical volunteers by an obscure guerrilla faction in an African war zone, and a corporate raid to undermine the share price of a New York based bank - set the wheels in motion. The novel describes, with documentary precision and convincing authenticity, the responses of the US president and his counterpart in Beijing; the options tendered by the political advisers, financial watchdogs and military establishments on both sides; the actions of Special Forces on the ground and of the carrier groups despatched to the Indian Ocean, and the rising clamour of the world's media as the crisis escalates towards catastrophe. The climax of the novel rivals and replicates the real life finale of the Cuban missile crisis 50 years earlier: the leaders on both sides recognize that the first shot fired will have lethal consequences. But how can they resolve the crisis without a loss of face that will sweep them from office and replace them with the hawks and hardliners who promote confrontation? Matthew Glass's denouement is as compelling and ingenious as the build up that precedes it.
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