The Minotaur

Jake Grafton, Book 1

by Stephen Coonts

At the height of the Cold War, Captain Jake Grafton becomes entangled in the hunt for a spy selling high-tech military secrets to the Soviet Union 

Naval pilot Jake Grafton flies fighter jets with ice water in his veins. But when he’s assigned a desk job in the Pentagon as the head of a top-secret stealth bomber program, his nerve is tested as never before. Colleagues die mysteriously, test flights are sabotaged, and the program is threatened at every level. America faces a deadly, catastrophic threat.  If Grafton can’t infiltrate a web of espionage and counter-espionage centered round the deadly traitor, code-named the Minotaur, embedded in the highest reaches of the U.S. government, he stands to lose much more than just his career. 

The Minotaur is an exhilarating mixture of cutting-edge aviation, spies, and counter-spies, all set in the complex world of military technology R&D.  In this unique espionage thriller written early in his career, Coonts’s extraordinary talent is brilliantly displayed.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Stephen Coonts, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

ABOUT Stephen Coonts


    Stephen Coonts is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight thriller, suspense, and nonfiction titles, including the blockbuster techno-thriller The Intruders (1994).

    Born in 1946, Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coalmining town in the western foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. His father, Gilbert, was a lawyer and his mother, Violet, was a schoolteacher and painter. He attended college at West Virginia University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1968. Following graduation, he joined the Navy and moved to Pensacola, Florida, to begin flight training at the age of twenty-two. He was stationed on the USS Enterprise for two combat cruises in the final years of the Vietnam War and flew an A-6 Intruder attack plane, an aircraft featured in many of his early novels.  After completing a tour aboard the USS Nimitz, Coonts left active duty with an honorable discharge in 1977, having achieved the rank of lieutenant.

    Coonts then moved to Colorado and worked as a taxi driver and police officer before enrolling in law school at the University of Colorado. He practiced law throughout his thirties while still enjoying his greatest hobby: aviation. In 1986, he published his highly successful debut, The Flight of the Intruder, which spent twenty-eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
    Coonts’s debut borrows heavily from his own experiences as a combat pilot, and the novel is rich in the technical details of aviation and warfare. Nine of Coonts’s subsequent thrillers star pilot Jake Grafton, the hero of The Flight of the Intruder, beginning with Final Flight (1988). Many of them have also appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Through the course of the books Jake Grafton flies combat missions in the Gulf War and later becomes a CIA agent. He matches up against Soviet spies, terrorists, and, in Under Siege (1990), Colombian drug lords. In The Intruders (1994), Coonts delivers a sequel to his wildly popular debut, returning to Grafton’s last missions as a pilot in the Vietnam War.

    Aside from the Jake Grafton books, Coonts has penned a number of successful series and stand-alone titles. Many of his recent novels feature Tommy Carmellini, a Jake Grafton protégé. Coonts has also branched out into science fiction with Saucer (2002), and has cowritten a series of high-tech espionage thrillers starting with Deep Black (2003). His nonfiction writing includes The Cannibal Queen (1992), a travelogue of Coonts’s summer spent crisscrossing the continental U.S. in a WWII-era biplane, often with his teenage son David as a companion.

    Coonts currently lives in Colorado. He has four children: Rachel, his oldest child, works as a paralegal; Lara, his second oldest, is married and has two kids of her own; David, a software engineer with Lockheed Martin, is now married with three children; and Tyler, Coonts’s youngest son, who works for a marketing firm in Las Vegas. Coonts still resides part-time in West Virginia on Deer Creek Farm, where he does much of his writing.

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