THE TEN THOUSAND by Harold Coyle


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 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.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-77800-5
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993


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