To provide for his family, a man facing a terminal cancer diagnosis heads to Afghanistan to carry out dangerous supply runs for big money.
The last thing Lambert Greene—relatively young, with a family and fledgling business—expected to hear from his old friend and doctor, Peter Shunka, was that he had pancreatic cancer and not long to live. Maybe six months, he’s told. Without a pension, and with a mortgage, medical bills and a wife and two kids to think about, Greene didn’t know how his family would cope after his death. Luckily, Shunka had a solution: He knew someone who could get Greene a job running supplies to special ops guys in the field in Afghanistan. The work would be dangerous, but the pay would be phenomenal. Seeing this as the only solution, Greene agrees, but in order to keep the arrangement from his family, he tells his wife he’ll be leaving for an extended business trip. En route, during a layover in Washington, D.C., Greene runs into some gangsters and leaves several of them dead. Once in country, he’s thrust into the thick of his new job, driving a truck in the dead of night as part of a two-man team, dropping supplies at designated points while keeping an eye out for attacks by the ever-present Taliban. Greene proves to be surprisingly adept at the dangerous job, even if he does rub some of his co-workers the wrong way. Meanwhile, shadowy forces, including the mysterious Bossman, seem to have plans for him. Williams’ debut novel features well-crafted prose, with a fully formed, believable lead character, and the tense action sequences rattle off with an immersive level of military detail. Some of the dialogue can be a bit wooden, and the subplot revolving around the killings in D.C. is too slow to develop, but there are more than enough thrills to make up for it.
A taut, well-plotted thriller with a compelling lead character.