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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.

Northern Virginia–based Strategic Solutions, Inc. was established by patriotic free-market sympathizers, most with military backgrounds, to handle those awkward international problems that just aren’t the right fit for the reigning superpower’s armed forces. Perhaps it would just take too long for that pokey Congress to declare war, or sometimesy ou just need to keep things out of the papers. Whatever the situation, it’s awfully handy to have a stable of trustworthy American mercenaries—straight shootin’, straight talkin’ guys and gals you can count on when you need action and you need it fast. And those same troops come in just as handy for the nonemergency small stuff, like a contract for counter-insurgency training in Chad, the second most corrupt nation on earth. (The most corrupt is teasingly not given, a little puzzle for the armchair international theorist.) SSI’s small task force of warfare technicians, including multilingual ex-CIA covert-ops expert Martha Whitney—super useful in Francophone Chad—is just getting down to the counter-insurgency task when the State Department calls for help. It seems the duplicitous Chadians have been mining uranium by the Libyan border and they’re about to ship it off to Iran to be turned into weapons of mass Israeli destruction. Would it be possible for those versatile SSI personnel to stop that shipment? (See how handy a Private Military Company is?) The training team goes into action and quickly discovers that the uranium caper is being protected by ruthless French mercenaries. Following a bloody skirmish in which the uranium gets away, SSI takes to the high seas for a showdown with the evil frogs, one of whom gets away to start a sequel.

Biff! Bap! Pow! Take that, evil Frenchmen!

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1372-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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