cover image Vulcan's Fire: Harold Coyle's Strategic Solutions, Inc.

Vulcan's Fire: Harold Coyle's Strategic Solutions, Inc.

Harold Coyle, Barrett Tillman, . . Tor, $24.95 (347pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1373-7

In Coyle and Tillman's second thriller to chronicle the exploits of Strategic Solutions Inc. (after Pandora's Legion ), the private military contractor that usually does the jobs that the U.S. administration wants to deny finds that such deniability has put the company in the political doghouse. Given the scarcity of new contracts, SSI must reluctantly accept a training mission to Lebanon from the Israelis. SSI's job is to train Druze militias so that they can resist Hezbollah attacks. The plan is for the trainers to avoid combat, but nobody bothered to tell Hezbollah. By attacking the Druze outposts, Hezbollah draws away attention from the border, where the organization will infiltrate suicide teams with black-market former Soviet backpack–nuclear devices into Israel itself. Both authors have military backgrounds, and this shows in the realistic battle scenes. At the same time, the book presents a scenario that those with any familiarity with the region will find all too credible. (Nov.)