Harold Coyle, Author . Forge $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0239-7

Bestseller Coyle (Dead Hand) begins this chillingly plausible military thriller with an Oklahoma City–style terrorist attack and a bloody militia–FBI standoff. Linking these events is right-wing Idaho Gov. George Thompson, who has strong connections to various militia organizations and an eye on the presidency. When six Idaho militiamen are ordered to stand trial in Seattle, Thompson and his attorney general refuse to arrest the militiamen, using the Idaho National Guard to expel the FBI and federal Justice Department employees at gunpoint and demanding a constitutional rewrite to resolve the impasse. Other key players are Gulf War hero Gen. Scott Dixon; his journalist wife, Jan, who has the inside scoop on Thompson; and their son Nathan, an army lieutenant fresh out of Virginia Military Institute, whose unit is called in to "neutralize" the situation in Idaho. Lt. Col. Nancy Kozak is charged with keeping the state's ammunition away from the armed militias as well as from the Guard itself. The lid blows off when a stray shot spurs Nancy's crew to open fire on Nathan's division, sparking open war. With Nathan's platoon missing, Scott steps up the pressure while Nancy is disgruntled with the militia's influence on the statehouse and plans some counteraction of her own. Coyne frequently crosses the line between rounding out his characters and bloating the novel with too many useless personal details, not to mention pontification on everything from the Constitution to army physical training. Still, his military knowledge is first-rate, and when the action kicks in it makes his "what if" scenario all the more gripping and unsettling. Major ad/promo. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/13/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-7653-4169-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 426 pages - 978-0-7653-6386-2
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4299-5467-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-312-70612-8
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