cover image The Med

The Med

David Poyer / Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (519p) ISBN 978

In the mold of such novels as From Here to Eternity and the recent Time and Tide, this is a powerful story, as honest as it is imaginative, about a joint Navy-Marine task force on a mission to rescue a large group of American and British hostages being held in Syria by Palestinian terrorists. The plot revolves around a few key characters, each in the grip of crises both personal and relevant to the fate of the mission. Among the well-delineated principals are the force commander, a jittery, careerist commodore unworthy of his rank; a naval lieutenant trying to live down a tragic past mistake; a chief engineer who figures in a wonderfully vivid engine-room drama; a sensitive, guitar-playing black who feels out of place in the Marines; the lieutenant's wife, who is among the hostages; and the terrorist leader, ruthless yet with a certain charisma. The commodore's inadequacies jeopardize the Marine assault that is the story's exciting climax. Readers will be gripped by the impression that these are real men in a realistic, and indeed uncomfortably topical, situation. Poyer is a former Navy officer. (April)