Code of Honor

Harold Coyle, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-77801-9
In the near future of Coyle's latest techno-thriller, the U.S. has dispatched its (fictional) 11th Air Assault Division to aid Colombia's unstable government in suppressing a Marxist insurgency and, while it's there, to try and damage the region's booming drug trade as well. By the time Brigadier-General Scott Dixon, familiar to readers of The Ten Thousand and Bright Star , arrives to evaluate the mission one year later, he finds the insurgency growing ever more formidable and the 11th Air crippled by the incompetence of its commander, Major General Charles Lane. The crisis peaks when infantry Captain Nancy Kozak overrides Lane's micromanagement of a firefight and insults him over the radio. Lane demands that she face a court-martial; Dixon is caught between allegiance to the truth and the need to support the chain of command. Coyle's cold-eyed portrayal of an American battalion demoralized by repeated ambushes offers a welcome corrective to post-Desert Storm triumphalism, but his storyline essentially recycles Vietnam War issues and avoids such end-of-the-century concerns as the use of U.S. forces in peacekeeping and nation-building. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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