Books by Harold Coyle

Harold Coyle is an American author of historical, speculative fiction and war novels. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, '74 and spent fourteen years on active duty with the U.S. Army. This includes assignments ranging from tank platoon le

Released: Oct. 16, 2007

"Biff! Bap! Pow! Take that, evil Frenchmen!"
Coyle and Tillman (Pandora's Legion, 2007, etc.) send their private militia to Chad, where the soldiers and sailors and SEALs lock horns with the French version of themselves. Read full book review >
PANDORA’S LEGION by Harold Coyle
Released: Feb. 20, 2007

"Action-filled revenge fantasy for desk-bound Terminators."
In the latest ground-war thriller from Coyle (They Are Soldiers, 2004, etc.) and Tillman (Dauntless, 1992, etc.), al-Qaeda sends disease-injected human time bombs to the Great Satan, so the Great Satan sends a private commando force to Pakistan to put a stop to the nonsense. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"As always, the build-up is long and problematic, but the battle scenes save the day."
Army Reservists patrol a border zone between Israel and the new Palestinian state: another slow starting, torpidly written, but shatteringly suspenseful tale of near-future military engagement. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2003

"Brilliantly immediate, a right-now novel with rounded characters, and indeed quite moving once the team falls into Syrian hands. Really well done."
Steel-jawed crafter of military thrillers Coyle, a Virginia Military Institute grad and 14-year Army veteran who took on the Oklahoma City terrorist attack but placed it in Idaho in Against All Enemies (2002), now digs a deeper trench of emotion than on any previous Coyle battlefield. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2001

"Spit-polished military fiction for hardware fans."
Ringing changes on the Oklahoma City bombing, military thriller author Coyle (Dead Hand, 2001, etc.) spins a tale of Idaho "freedom fighters" demanding secession. Former combat engineer Dale Stoner blames the loss of his health, sanity, and wife on Gulf War Syndrome and feels ignored by the government, so he blows up the Robert Dole federal building in Kansas City with homemade RDX explosive. Now the Fifth Brigade, a rebel band of so-called patriots in Wyoming, is surrounded, abortively, by the FBI and Wyoming National Guard. Should the rebels be accused of blowing up the Dole building? Recent VMI grad Lt. Nathan Dixon, son of Major General Scott Dixon and stepson of TV journalist Jan Fields-Dixon, finds himself in Boise serving under Colonel Nancy Kozak, a weekend warrior with the Idaho National Guard. Why? Idaho's Governor Thomas Jefferson Osborn, saddled up for state's rights and siding with the embattled Wyoming rebels, thinks it's time for God-fearing men to stand up against a government that has abandoned the Constitution. When shove comes to shove, and the capital in Boise is under siege, how will Kozak and young Dixon take on the rebels? Will General Dixon's tank cavalry charge to the rescue, as cavalry must? Read full book review >
GOD'S CHILDREN by Harold Coyle
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"uncompromisingly suspenseful tale of heroic adventure. ($150,000 ad/promo; radio satellite tour)"
Another penetrating dissection of the passion and terror of warfare from the modern master of life-under-combat, this time Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

Old pro Coyle (Until the End, 1996, etc.) strikes out on a new course, chronicling the harsh but enlightening experiences of three combatants in the French and Indian War. At the heart of Coyle's consistently engrossing narrative are: Highlander Ian McPherson (a Culloden veteran exiled to North America in the wake of England's so-called Great Clearance of Scotland); Ensign Anton de Chevalier (bastard son of a minor nobleman, posted to the New France garrison as an officer of artillery); and Captain Thomas Shields (a well-born Londoner who views the colonies as a chance for martial fame and, perhaps, a civilian fortune). In hopes of securing land at the end of his enlistment, Ian marches off in 1754 with a small band of Virginia volunteers under the command of Colonel George Washington—a band that fails, unfortunately, to dislodge the French from Western Pennsylvania. The colonial militia return the next year in company with Redcoat regulars (including Thomas), but with no better results. As the conflict grinds on, it affects the focal characters in various ways. Anton, for example, continues to see God's own glory in the beauty of the woodland battlegrounds, while Thomas (chastened by a near-fatal encounter with a vengeful Indian fighting for the French) lays aside dreams of military honors. As more talented soldiers of the king (Jeffrey Amherst, James Wolfe, et al.) take charge, the tide turns in favor of Anglo-American armies, and in 1759, the Crown's troops win a decisive victory on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City. A gravely wounded Thomas resigns his commission to marry a Hudson Valley heiress, Anton soldiers on, and Ian gets his frontier homestead, plus a lusty Irish lass to share it. Vivid accounts of bloody engagements on New World battlefields where the fate of great empires was decided, and resonant depictions of the men at the sharp end of the bayonet—or tomahawk- -make for a splendid period piece. Read full book review >
UNTIL THE END by Harold Coyle
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

The concluding work in Coyle's splendid two-volume series on America's Civil War. Look Away (1995) followed the star-crossed Bannon brothers, James (a gentleman ranker in Virginia's Stonewall Brigade) and Kevin (a captain with the 4th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry), from their troubled but privileged youth in the Garden State through a brief face-to-face encounter at Gettysburg. The narrative at hand (which provides background enough to stand alone) picks up the parallel stories of James and Kevin after Gettysburg and tracks them through the endgame of a horrific conflict that proves more an endurance contest than a noble cause. Although James and Kevin never meet again on a battlefield, they are unwitting antagonists in many of the Eastern Theater's bloodiest campaigns. Among other near-miss collisions, James marches with the ragtag forces assembled by Jubal Early to menace Washington in mid-1864, while Kevin, still weak from wounds, commands a motley company of convalescents and Army clerks hastily armed to defend the seat of federal government. In their few respites from close-quarters combat, the brothers take comfort in two fine women, Kevin with Harriet Shields (a headstrong lass who, against her family's wishes, has gone south to nurse Union casualties) and James with Mary Beth McPherson (sister of a slain comrade). The fortunes of war throw Harriet and Mary Beth together when the latter's homestead is requisitioned as a front-line aid station in the wake of a Yankee rout of rebel troops near Winchester, Va. They soon part, and hostilities grind on until the North captures the Confederate capital of Richmond, where Mary Beth has gone to work in a munitions factory. Shortly thereafter, James (hopeful that the nation's suffering can now lead to national reconciliation) lays down his arms at Appomattox and heads North with Mary Beth, whom he's married, for a bittersweet reunion with Kevin and Harriet. A haunting, human-scale account of a cruel war. Read full book review >
LOOK AWAY by Harold Coyle
Released: June 1, 1995

In a departure from his tales of contemporary or near-future conflicts, Coyle (Code of Honor, 1994) gets off to an absorbing start on a new Civil War series. Following a girl's violent but accidental death (which is hushed up), Princeton student James Bannon is banished to Virginia Military Institute by his overbearing father, a widowed Irish immigrant whose business achievements have not earned him the social acceptance he craves. Younger brother Kevin (who's actually responsible for the tragic mishap) remains at home in New Jersey and enrolls at Rutgers. Once the battle between North and South is joined, James follows VMI best friend Will MacPherson into the Virginia Volunteers, while Bannon päre uses his political connections to obtain the insecure Kevin a commission in the state militia. Ignorant of the other's whereabouts, the two brothers (whose loyalty has survived their separation) fight on opposite sides in some epic campaigns from Manassas, Antietam, and Fredericksburg through the Wilderness. Meanwhile, as the struggle between Union and Confederate forces grinds on, both men suffer grievous personal losses but find love amid the carnage: a more self-assured Kevin with Harriet Shields, a headstrong daughter of the local gentry who crosses the Mason-Dixon line to nurse the wounded; and alienated James with Mary Beth, Will's rebel sister. The brothers finally meet during the fierce clash atop Gettysburg's Seminary Ridge. Following a brief, emotional encounter, however, they part. Renewed in spirit, James marches off to continue fighting for the lost cause he now supports wholeheartedly, while Kevin and Harriet are left to wonder when or whether their paths will cross again. Authentic accounts of murderous combat on home-front battlefields, plus nuanced portrayals of men and women at arms. A rally-round-the-flag triumph with storytelling appeal for the Blue or the Gray. Read full book review >
CODE OF HONOR by Harold Coyle
Released: March 1, 1994

A master of conjectural conflict, Coyle (The Ten Thousand, Trial by Fire, etc.) here musters his durable troupe of GIs in Colombia, where a corrupt, shaky government has requested US aid in its intensifying struggle with drug lords and a suddenly rejuvenated band of leftist rebels. Though dispatched as peacekeepers, the American units (whose ranks encompass several characters, including Captain Nancy Kozak, from the author's earlier works) soon find themselves engaged in deadly battles against aggressive, well-equipped guerrillas. The ambiguous mission of the muddy-boots soldiers is not made any easier by their divisional commander, Major General G.B. Lane, a rear-echelon martinet who disregards field intelligence when it suits his careerist purposes. Disturbed by what's shaping up as a Vietnam-like quagmire, the Army's Chief of Staff assigns straightshooting Scott Dixon, a newly minted brigadier, to be his eyes and ears in the war-torn republic. Also on the scene is Jan Fields, Dixon's loyal wife and, by providential happenstance, chief of World News Network's Bogota bureau. The plucky WNN correspondent's enterprising inquiries into an abortive air assault operation that Lane has covered up help precipitate outcomes ranging from her own expulsion through relief of the pusillanimous Lane, who has vindictively threatened to court-martial Kozak despite the bravery and effective leadership she has shown under fire. Dixon (who has saved Washington's bacon in previous Coyle thrillers) eventually takes charge of the expeditional force, which has to fight its way out of Colombia as insurgents topple the incumbent regime. Back in the Pentagon, the old soldier ruefully counts the high cost of geopolitical adventurism for those at the sharp end of the bayonet. Authentic accounts of high-tech combat action on alien fields in the context of an all too plausible foreign-relations/military snafu, plus credible portrayals of women at arms. Another winner for Coyle and his ongoing cast of heroines as well as heroes. Read full book review >
THE TEN THOUSAND by Harold Coyle
Released: May 14, 1993

A US Army trapped in Central Europe slugs its way to the sea through Germany, where that pesky, recurrent national personality problem prevails. Characters from Coyle's previous thrillers (Trial by Fire, etc.) return, having in some cases been promoted. At the end of WW II, Pvt. George Kozak tossed a grenade into a basement in Regensburg, Germany, killing a mother and daughter and crippling a little Hitlerjugend who grew up to become Johann Ruff, chancellor of united Germany and a man with a grudge. Ruff is waiting for the Americans to make a wrong move so he can throw them off the continent, and they do. With a little help from the Russians, the US invades Ukraine to snatch the nuclear weapons the Ukrainians were supposed to relinquish but didn't. When the bombs are transported to an American base in Germany in violation of treaty, the Germans grab the weapons and bottle up the American military—which makes for a pretty kettle of fish for US President Abigail Wilson. Ms. Wilson turns to crafty Congressman Ed Lewis for help, and the two, with General ``Big Al'' Malin, hatch a plot to retake the nukes and bust the army out without kneeling to the neo-Nazis. Malin will pretend to go maverick, leading his troops north to the open sea. Well down Malin's chain of command is thoroughly capable tank commanderess Captain Nancy Kozak, whose father's grenade started the trouble all those years ago. Kozak reports to Col. Scott Dixon, who, like Nancy, has gotten America out of a number of hot spots in previous Coyle thrillers. Dixon is married to World News Network reporter Jan Fields, who always manages to get assigned somewhere convenient to the advancement of the plot. As the Americans move out, the German air force takes itself out of the battle, thereby putting tanks in the starring roles. No more improbable than fundamentalist terrorists attacking New York's financial district. In the meantime, Coyle has fully integrated women into the combat forces, which may broaden readership a bit. Read full book review >
TRIAL BY FIRE by Harold Coyle
Released: April 1, 1992

Hypothetical-war specialist Coyle (Bright Star, 1990; Sword Point, 1988) takes his recurring cast of characters to the Mexican border, where a coup d`Çtat to the south and the usual political bungling to the north make armed conflict inevitable. Thirteen army officers, fed up with decades of corruption and bungling under the ruling Revolutionary Party, have decapitated the Mexican government with one well-placed presidential plane crash. The Council of Thirteen, as they call themselves, speedily and rather brutally set about carving the rot from the Mexican political and governmental structure. The poor and the middle class love the new cleanliness; the druglords and the paid-for police hate it. The US, caught once again without useful intelligence, fails to understand the nature of the revolution and falls victim to manipulation by the druglords, who create chaos with terrorist acts on the border. The only American who seems to have the faintest idea of what's going on is TV reporter Jan Fields, whose good fortune has placed her in Mexico City at the time of the coup. As Fields's reports air, her lover, Lt. Col. Scott Dixon, heads with his troops for southern Texas, unhappily aware that he is about to take part in a war that can bring only pain and embarrassment to his country. Among his troops is Lt. Nancy Kozak, the Army's first female combat officer, who is about to find out what men have long known: war is extremely confusing and thoroughly interesting. Coyle has always been worth reading for his intelligent and authentic portrayals of the military messes we may find ourselves in before long. This time, he has sacrificed a little military detail for the sake of general readability. It's a sensible and worthwhile compromise. Read full book review >