BITTER VICTORY by Rene Hardy

BITTER VICTORY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A second (Sword of God) novel again uses a combat incident to parallel conflict on another level, and it is a stern, stark drama of cowardige, courage and cruelty, of men exposed to a dreadful desert ordeal and also the probation of their own worth. A small but significant mission, in which a Commando unit was sent to destroy a German headquarters, was to be known as Operation Footslog; Brand, reputedly brilliant is chosen to lead the expedition, while Leith, an intellectual, a skeptic, a ""man of unanswered questions"", is appointed his second in command. Brand, edgy to begin with, is destructively driven by his hatred of Leith- his unjustified jealousy of Leith's relationship with his wife, his justified resentment of Leith's authority with the men. As external factors- the loss of their camels- the lack of water- make the return through the desert almost impossible, Brand loses control of himself, raids a village and rapes a native girl, and finally is responsible for Leith's death which will shadow the hero's return- to the repudiation of the army and his wife.... From the French, this is intense and incisive although a market, it is a man's book, may be difficult to martial.

Publisher: Doubleday