cover image Kill Zone

Kill Zone

Jack Coughlin, with Donald A. Davis. . St. Martin?s, $24.95 (314pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36018-4

Coughlin wrote with Davis on Shooter , a memoir of Coughlin’s career as a Marine Corps sniper. In the team’s debut novel, the two pit Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Swanson, the corps’s best sniper, against a secret alliance of government and business bigwigs. A triumvirate of National Security Adviser Gerald Buchanan, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Ruth Reed and megarich businessman Gordon Gates IV are using Gates Global (the world’s preeminent private security company) to implement a plan to take over the military, rewrite the Constitution and usher in the creation of a “New America.” In Saudi Arabia, Marine Brig. Gen. Bradley Middleton is kidnapped by two mercenaries working for Gates Global. After Swanson is chosen to be part of a rescue team, helicopters carrying the rescuers crash on landing, and Swanson is left with only his exceptional combat skills and his high-tech rifle, Excalibur (“a sniper’s wet dream”). The action reaches such a furious pitch that readers will hardly notice an overly romantic subplot or the clumsy machinations of the evil trio. (Nov.)