The book opens with a scene that is out of liberals worst daydreams about our troops in Afghanistan. A team is operating in an Afghan village, and they need to extract information about some captured SEALs. The leader orders the men in the village rounded up, and threatens to execute the men if the information is not forthcoming. When it’s not, some of the the men are executed. Ultimately he receives the information, and the village is cleansed. (The remaining men are killed, and the women and children are turned over to native troops for rape and sale into slavery.) As a result the commander, Wes Stauer, is forced into retirement.
After a couple of years of dull retirement, he is lured out by a former associate who needs help in rescuing the son of his tribal chief. This leads to the recruitment of his old team, and the development of the mission.
Much of the book is taken up with the details of obtaining equipment, training, and other details. If you’re familiar with caper films, or movies such as The Dirty Dozen, you know that there is a lot of preparation for the climactic battle. So you get a description of the kidnapping, details about the kid’s transportation, confinement, and so on in alternation with story of the rescue force that is being put together.
You also get some romance and some sex, both straight and gay. In some cases the gay partners come to unhappy ends during what should be felicitous moments.
As always there may be passages that delicate readers would rather not encounter. There is a fair amount of violence, but there are no megadeaths.
Next up, I’ll be talking about Salome in the Bible, in Flaubert, in Oscar Wilde and Richard Strauss, and as portrayed by Rita Hayworth.