THEY ARE SOLDIERS

Harold Coyle, Author . Forge $25.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0547-3

Coyle (More Than Courage ) chills with a sometimes clumsily written but disturbingly plausible story about a Virginia National Guard unit facing the threat of biological weapons in a security zone between Israelis and a new Palestinian state. Coyle narrates from numerous perspectives, including that of Guard members—postmen, volunteer firefighters—from tiny Bedlow, Va., and the military officers commanding their unit. In the Middle East, Coyle also enters the minds of Syed Amama, a young Palestinian suicide bomber who miraculously survived a successful mission, and Hammed Kamel, a microbiologist determined to rid the new state of its American and Israeli scourge. Chapters about the American deployment are heartfelt but boilerplate, as husbands leave pregnant wives and Coyle describes in excessive detail the heroic patriotism of the military men and the complexities of the U.S. military situation. But a series of taut chapters in which the Americans come face to face with another suicide bomber raises the tension and the stakes, and the stirring climax describes a dangerous raid on Kamel's weapons lab after Amama manages to infect some of the guardsmen with a deadly biological agent. The revolving-character door may leave readers dizzy by the time they reach the climax, but for those who don't mind a heavy hand and a bit of excess patriotism, this is a solid read. Agent, Scott Miller at Trident. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/26/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-1114-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-7653-4460-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-7653-6902-4
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