Title:                      Mission to Chara

Author:                 Lynn M. Boughey

Boughey, Lynn M. (2001). Mission to Chara. Minot, ND: North American Heritage Press

OCLC:    46355413

PS3552.O83134 M5 2001


Date Updated:  April 1, 2015

This Truman Scholar’s novel has won high praise, as follows: “A modern-day spy thriller that combines nonfiction accuracy relating to world affairs and military technology with a quick-moving tale of suspense. One-half of the book deals with Russia and the art of spying, and the other half deals with the military mission to go into Russia to retrieve a Russian agent. Beyond the action-adventure, the book delves into present-day political and international problems, including nuclear non-proliferation, implementation of treaties with Russia, the breakdown of the Russian economy, the capabilities of our military, and the proper role of the United States as the proponent of democracy as well as economic stability of other nations.”

Mission to Chara is a present-day espionage thriller involving the SR-71 Blackbird and a special ops mission into Russia to extricate a Russian counteragent. In Lynn Boughey’s first novel, the author demonstrates his unique knowledge of Russia, modern intelligence operations, the weaknesses of our present nuclear arms treaties with Russia, and the substantial abilities of our present US military. Rarely has an author gone to such lengths to ensure the accuracy of a novel. The author has travelled extensively throughout Russia and has been the guest at dozens of US military bases.

The Blackbird[1] is the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, used by the United States and introduced in January 1964 as a successor to the U-2, was a two-seater twin jet designed to fly at 85,000 feet at a speed of Mach 3, making it the world’s fastest, highest-flying plane. In a record-breaking flight in September 1974, an SR-7l flew from New York to London in under two hours. Less than 30 SR 71s—eight or which were destroyed in accidents—had been built by Lockheed the time it was withdrawn from operations in March 1990. It could map 100.000 square miles each hour, and the aircraft’s extraordinary characteristics, including its innovative design, astonishing speed, and low radar profile, made it virtually invulnerable to attack from the ground.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff David C. Jones states on the jacket cover that “Lynn Boughey has woven a wonderful story through a masterful blending of fact and fiction. His book is in the category of those you can’t put down. The depth of knowledge Boughey demonstrates in the employment of the famous MACH 3+, SR-71 “Blackbird” (which is central to his mission to Chara) gives rise to professional envy by all of us who have flown it.

Some readers have characterized it as heavy with technical detail and characters who are wooden. Casual readers without a background in intelligence may not be so captivated.

The author of this book is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and this review is published on the Association’s website.

[1] West, Nigel (2006). Historical Dictionary of International Intelligence. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, p. 29


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