Matt Gallagher. Atria, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-0574-6
Written by an Iraq War veteran, this visceral novel is narrated by Jack Porter, a young army lieutenant tasked to counterinsurgency at the town of Ashuriyah 10 years after the invasion of Iraq. He is informed that he will be getting a new sergeant for his platoon, Daniel Chambers, a veteran non-com. It is quickly clear that Chambers has a different way of doing things. Porter is all about the mission and going by the book, while Chambers is all about personal survival—adjusting the Rules of Engagement when necessary and not above planting a drop weapon when an Iraqi civilian is killed. A sort of war begins between the two men for control of the platoon. At the same time, a curious Porter begins delving into the background of Chambers's cohort, Sgt. Edgar Rios, killed in combat under mysterious circumstances. This leads him to the woman Rios loved, a sheik's daughter named Rana who he discovers is an abused woman with two young children. Porter vows to help her, even if it means defying the army brass and going so far as to perform a criminal act. Based on his own combat experience, Gallagher (Kaboom) writes knowingly about the futility of keeping the peace in Iraq, where it seems almost impossible to identify friend from foe. He imbues the struggle between Porter and Chambers with a moral heft while never reducing these two powerful characters to mere symbols of a military mission gone terribly wrong. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 02/02/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-5011-0576-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-2344-5
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-5011-0575-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-9534-3
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4711-5909-1
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