A Pentagon thriller from military journalist Ricks (Making the Corps, 1997), who weaves a crooked tale of ambition, deceit, and treason out of the dull khaki strands of Army life. The fulcrum of the tale is a civilian, President Jim Shick, a conservative Republican (and former intelligence officer) who shocks the brass by slashing the military budget by some $20 billion a year—and infuriates the rank and file by deploying US forces to hot spots across the globe as if they were pawns in a game of chess. Majors Cindy Sherman and Bud Lewis watch the proceedings with long faces from their Pentagon desks, but as aides-de-camp for senior generals they are duty-bound to have no opinion of their commander-in-chief. That cannot be said of many of their colleagues in the officer corps, however, and Sherman and Lewis soon become aware of a shadowy group calling itself the Sons of Liberty—military officers who conduct secret protests and rapidly advance to the brink of outright mutiny against the White House. In the course of their investigations, Sherman and Lewis fall in love, but the situation soon becomes too tense for romance as America faces the prospect of the first military coup in its history.
Fast, sharp, and tight: a winner.