Common Defense

Ed Ruggero, Author, Ruggero, Author, Paul McCarthy, Editor Atria Books $20 (352p) ISBN 978-0-671-73008-6
In the near future of Ruggero's second techno-thriller (after 38 North Yankee ), U.S. ``advisers'' have been assigned to the Mexican army as part of an anti-drug campaign. Infantry captain Mark Isen and Delta Force major Ray Spano, already aware that the local authorities bitterly resent their presence, run into larger troubles when neo-nationalist German terrorists, led by Heinrich Wolf, infiltrate Mexico and attack U.S. targets with bombs and nerve gas. The planned climax of Wolf's campaign is a strike against Washington on July 4; Isen and Spano have 48 hours to stop him. Ruggero, who demonstrates sound knowledge of the U.S. Army's inner dynamics, has a good ear for dialogue and the ability to create effective characters--the relationship between Isen and his wife is especially convincing. But these virtues are subverted by his focus on two tangentially connected themes. The question of whether U.S. armed forces can provide a quick fix for the drug problem outside the country's borders is posed but never developed, and Ruggero switches to a conventional terrorist adventure that overshadows the initial, more promising story line. In the end, the reader is left unsatisfied. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-671-73009-3
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