cover image On Edge

On Edge

Albert Ashforth. Oceanview (Midpoint, dist.), $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-60809-200-0

Fans of both military and mystery fiction will relish Ashforth's impressive sequel to 2012's The Rendition. In early 2013, Alex Klear, a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer, once again gives in to a demand to perform one more job for his country, this time in Afghanistan, where an old friend of his, Col. Peter Hansen, was the victim of an apparent "green-on-blue" killing (an Afghan soldier murdering an American soldier). In Kabul, Alex unearths evidence suggesting that the soldier accused of the crime was set up, and he concludes that the murder is connected to Pete's investigation of the collapse of the Kabul Bank, which went bankrupt in 2010. Meanwhile, with the date of U.S. withdrawal approaching, officials seem content to let circumstantial evidence close the case and ignore the conspiracy. Alex, stalwart and principled, pursues it to the shocking end. Ashforth, an Army veteran and former military contractor, skillfully conveys an insider's familiarity with the Afghan people and terrain, but he should abandon the "just one more mission" conceit and put Alex officially back into uniform for his next outing. (Sept.)