The Viper Contract

Author Chris Broyhill, aviation writer

The Viper Contract

The Viper Contract

By, Chris Broyhill

Book Review by JR Hafer, aviation writer


Certainly Mr. Broyhill must be congratulated for his first novel; The Viper Contract is a winner! I applaud Atlantic Aviation and Crosswind Agency for recognizing Broyhill’s talent and supporting his efforts by bringing this thriller to the passionate aviation readers. 

The Colin Pierce series, may just find itself mirroring the successful legendary Fleming Bond franchise. This author certainly has that same potential indeed, if he chooses to continue the Colin Pierce saga. However, there have been others who possessed this potential and let it slip away. One good example is the Jack Ryan series. 

Chris Broyhill does a good job writing and turning phrases. The transitions are easily morphed in that one never gets lost in the direction of the story-line. The plot is well thought out and though in some cases can be anticipated, but those revelations don’t give away enough to spoil a good climax! (No pun intended).   

The former U.S.A.F. fighter Pilot himself, the author really knows his “stuff” and best of all can transpose his personal experiences into his writing with precise clarification without boredom for those readers who may not have been “Jet-Jocks”. I would like to note it is normal for Fighter pilots to have an over abundance of Ego, confidence and Testosterone. The fact Colin Pierce lacked none of these factors is unmistakable!     

The Viper is the F-16 unofficial nickname. It is also known as the Fighting Falcon, Hawk, Lightning, Desert Falcon and The Sweet Sixteen. As the jet sits on the ramp its sexy sleek and “ready to strike like a snake” appearance with a lethal bite of a “Viper” is why the name became so popular. The author gives the reader a clear understanding and affection for this “venomous bird”.   

I’ve said before, “A good novel needs a lot of flying and good sex in the plot to be a good read”. Folks this is certainly a good reading book!   

The character development is well done, however authors can always spend more time with character development. The trick is doing it without boring the reader. The readers need to have a close relationship with each character. A good author develops a clandestine technique for non boring character development and introducing personalities and physical appearances.  Chris does this well, we shall see how he does with the books that follow.    

It is true, maybe one or two of his female characters could have been a little softer in their speech, but among the cut throat “Vamps” the femininity wasn’t lost and somehow fit right in. 

I wonder however, in Colin Pierce’s world, if it is like the world of James Bond, where there are no ugly or “homely” obese, plain or average women? Just all super models Hummm? (ie; That’s the way I would write them too. Wouldn’t you? Or visa versa for the females, huh girls?)    

There is no doubt about it, the author is arguably a connoisseur of fine single malt scotch whiskey therefore his alter-ego would naturally also be. I was almost persuaded by Mr. Broyhill grab a short thick tumbler and pour three fingers of Laphroaig single malt scotch. Then sit back and enjoy the burning sensation as it streamed down my throat. “Hells Bells” I don’t even drink, when I did drink I hated the taste of scotch. “I was almost persuaded” This man is a good writer!    

Chris Broyhill is a Contract Corporate Pilot. He is a Former USAF Fighter Pilot. What you are reading in this book comes from his imagination and experience. I have talked to Fighter Pilots who know the technical facts are exceptionally accurate. It is obvious that he has thought out the flying sequences in great detail describing them with the flow of an artist painting a picture on a canvas with great care, it is that vivid! 

Imagine the south Pacific secluded Island with the long paved runway and the Hangar in the side of a mountain big enough to house all these F-16 Viper Jets and Three 747 Cargo Aircraft. The living quarters, a place that I wouldn’t mind living myself. The beach was another amenity. Sign me up, I’m ready to go right now!    

I have never been in the cockpit of an F-16. I have been told the author’s description of the operating systems and placement is accurate. After reading this book I feel as though I have not only flown in the F-16 Viper, but I have donned the skull cap, the helmet, closed the canopy then going vertical off into a dog fight, actually doing combat with other aircraft. I felt like a kid again spreading my wings day-dreaming while reading the Viper Contract.  I liked the book, it was exciting and I was never bored. Each time I put it down, I couldn’t wait until I could get back and start reading it again. The plot is Plausible…

Obviously I recommend this book for aviation enthusiasts and those who like good technical thrillers. I believe others who might give it a chance will find they can skip through the technical stuff without loosing the story line. 

“The Viper Contract” By: Chris Broyhill. Good read do not miss out get the book! 

JR Hafer, aviation writer

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