Predator: Cold War is a 1997 novelization of the comic book series of the same name, written by Nathan Archer and published by Bantam Spectra. A sequel to Predator: Concrete Jungle, it sees Detective Schaefer of the NYPD once again becoming involved in a Predator incident when he is forcibly recruited by General Philips for a covert mission to investigate a crashed Predator vessel in the remote Siberian wilderness.
Over the icy Siberian wastes something falls from the sky. Soon decapitated villages, soldiers and oil workers litter the snow. The Russian authorities are baffled, but deep within the Pentagon in Washington, USA, data from secret satellites proves the Predators are back!
A crack team of experts is sent to Siberia to bring back the crashed alien spaceship that brought the Predators to Earth, along with its unique technology. Press-ganged into accompanying then is Detective Schaefer of the NYPD — the only man on earth with first hand knowledge of the Predators. He is about to face his second close encounter with the scourge of the universe...
In the remote wastelands of Siberia, a large, mysterious object falls from the sky, attracting the attention of a local hunter named Taro, who is quickly slain when he goes to investigate.
The fallen object begins emitting heat and radiation, which is detected at a nearby pipeline pumping station. The station's small garrison of Russian soldiers, led by Lieutenant Ligacheva, heads out to discover the source of the readings, but they too are decimated by an unseen enemy, with only Ligacheva surviving the incident. The radiation from the crashed object is also picked up by the American military, who deduce from seismic readings that its source likely fell from the sky. Word reaches General Philips, who has been sidelined since the Predator incident in New York six months previously. Realizing the object is almost certainly a downed Predator ship, he immediately begins putting together a team to secretly enter Russia and investigate the site. To this end, he sends his subordinate, Smithers, to recruit NYPD Detective Schaefer, knowing his first-hand experience with the Predators will likely prove invaluable.
However, Schaefer flatly declines to become involved with Philips' operation. He instead heads out on an undercover drug bust, but the sting goes bad and the rest of his team is killed. Schaefer himself is only saved when Smithers and several of Philips' men burst in and kill the suspects, some of them in cold blood, before they knock Schaefer out with a tranquillizer. He awakes on a helicopter with Philips, finding he has been press-ganged into joining the mission.
As political tensions between the United States and Russia begin to rise over the mystery radiation readings in Siberia, Schaefer is introduced to Philips' team and their high-tech equipment, neither of which impress the grizzled detective. The team is inserted into Russia aboard a modified B-2 stealth bomber; upon reaching the pumping station near the crash site, they discover its occupants have been slaughtered by Predators. Before they can plan their next move, the team is surrounded by Russian reinforcements led by Ligacheva, who after being debriefed in Moscow has been ordered to return and discover the cause of her unit's slaughter. Taking an interest in Schaefer's stories of Predator visitation, Ligacheva begins questioning him while the rest of the Americans are detained.
Back in the US, Schaefer's former partner Rasche, now serving as sheriff in a sleepy Oregon town, becomes concerned by Schaefer's apparent disappearance. Investigating, he learns of Smithers' involvement and forcefully interrogates the agent into revealing the clandestine mission to Russia and Schaefer's enforced participation. With US-Russian relations continuing to deteriorate and all-out war becoming a possibility, Rasche goes to the Russian ambassador and divulges what he has learned, hoping to both save his former partner and prevent a disastrous conflict. Convinced by Rasche's testimony, the ambassador travels to Russia with Rasche to investigate.
At the pumping station, a rift erupts amongst Ligacheva's men when the Lieutenant refuses to assault the downed Predator ship; she is eventually removed of command by her superiors in Moscow and replaced by her ambitious subordinate Yashin. The American prisoners make an attempt at escaping their captors, but are re-apprehended by when their high-tech equipment begins failing in the extreme Siberian cold. Meanwhile, having learned more about the Predators from Schaefer, Ligacheva elects to go to the Predator ship alone and destroy it as revenge for her massacred soldiers. Admiring her courage, Schaefer accompanies her.
They find the vessel lying in a deep ravine, but are attacked before they can reach it by Yashin and the other Russians, who now have orders to preserve the crash site so that it can be stripped of useful technology. The firefight is interrupted by a Predator, which quickly slaughters Yashin and his men before being killed by Schaefer and Ligacheva. Continuing on, the pair locate the crashed ship and head inside, planning to destroy it with a C4 charge. Before they can set the bomb they are attacked by more Predators, killing two before being forced back outside, where they are apprehended by Philips and the Americans, who have once again escaped their captors at the pumping station. Philips orders Schaefer and Ligacheva killed when they refuse to cooperate, but they are saved by Rasche, who arrives with a much bigger force of Russians.
Ligacheva is prevented from destroying the ship by her superiors, but when the now-repaired vessel begins to lift off she kicks the bomb into the open hatch; the craft is obliterated shortly before reaching orbit. Her commanding officer threatens her with dishonorable discharge and imprisonment for her actions, but the Russian ambassador steps in to suggest the entire incident would be best buried. Schaefer and Rasche, meanwhile, suggest Ligacheva is the kind of woman they could use in the NYPD.
- Predator: Cold War would be the last Predator novel to be published in the United Kingdom by Millennium; the final Predator book from Bantam, Predator: Big Game, was never released in the UK. In fact, subsequent novels published by DH Press were likewise never officially released in the UK, meaning Britain would not see another Predator novel until Titan Books published Predator: Incursion in 2015, a gap of some 18 years.
- Philips' first name is given as Eustace, yet it is actually Homer.