Sword Point

Harold Coyle, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-66553-1
In his foreword U.S. Army officer Coyle ( Team Yankee ) says that the Red Army treasures ``conformity and discipline'' while the U.S. ``places its trust in the ability of the individual soldier and his leaders.'' We are not surprised, therefore, when his thriller picks the winner of a two-month war between the superpowers in Iran. There is a little suspense about whether Iran, fighting both ``satans,'' will detonate an atomic bomb, and somewhat less about whether the U.S.S.R. will start chemical warfare. The narrative consists mainly of set pieces on back-and-forth desert fighting, flashing from one side to another and featuring some continuing characters. But all the characters are paper-thin and all sound equally earnest and boring. Interest is not sustained by the book's undeniable authenticity, which has all the style of a training manual. And confusion arrives with the authentic alphabet soup: lots of info about MRRs, RDEs, BDUs, etc. Coyle's prose is often clumsy, the chapter-head quotes (from Napoleon, Sherman et al.) are as pertinent as fortune cookies and the ending manages to be sentimental and ungrammatical at the same time. Paperback rights to Pocket Books; Literary Guild dual main selection; Military Book Club main selection; major ad/promo. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-671-66554-8
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-671-85294-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-671-67404-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-5011-5712-7
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