3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lonnie E. Holder
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sergeant First Class Kyle Monroe is a sniper. I guess the old saying is once a sniper, always a sniper. Of course, he does not feel like a sniper at the moment because he is at sniper school, teaching sniper wannabes. The job is frustrating because most of the candidates are young, with all the energy and enthusiasm of being young, and very little of the patience it takes to be a sniper.
On the other hand, Kyle Monroe is still recovering from what happened in Bosnia. When a shoot goes bad, it can be very bad. Kyle's spotter lost his life because of a mistake. Kyle was not responsible, but he feels responsible. Kyle is unable to realize that he is suffering from survivor's guilt. Kyle needs to overcome his issues quickly, because the Army has a mission for him in hostile territory, the hinterlands of Pakistan.
Kyle initially has misgivings when the Army assigns Wade Curtis to work with Kyle as Kyle's spotter. However, the misgivings are because of what happened in Bosnia, not because of Wade's qualifications. In fact, Wade is a true professional: skilled, knowledgeable and intelligent. Kyle could hardly ask for a better partner.
After too little training and preparation, Kyle and Wade make their way in-theater and wend their way to their target. At first, the mission seems to be going well. However, as has a way of happening, things go downhill fast, and then faster. Things begin shakily when their expected translator does not show up. When Kyle and Wade execute a shoot, the outcome is completely unexpected. Kyle, Wade, and Nasima, a Pakistani teacher, find themselves on the run while still needing to accomplish a mission. The action is intensive and exciting from beginning to end in this fast-paced thriller.
I enjoy military thrillers. Unfortunately, I have had a difficult time finding military thrillers that are believable and written well. "The Scope of Justice" is believable, well written and exciting. The author is clearly well versed in things military. He also expects his audience to have general knowledge of the U.S. military and some of the issues they face.
For example, the author talks about MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat - the replacement for the C and K-rations of the previous era), RPG's (Rocket Propelled Grenades), RPK's (a Russian-made hand-carried machine gun) and more. You can enjoy this novel if you are unfamiliar with the acronyms, but you will enjoy the novel even more if you are familiar with at least some of the acronyms. Of course, you can always look up the ones you do not know on the internet.
The author also has a marvelous knowledge of Pakistan, its culture and its numerous languages. Michael Z. Williamson has fleshed out his novel with such glorious detail that I got thirsty when Wade, Kyle and Nasima did.
Some people seem to find character development beneficial in a novel. Author Williamson focuses on Kyle Monroe, and rightfully so. Kyle's eyes provide most of our perspective and interpretation of happenings, so we see how Kyle is both fearful for his companions, but also how Kyle comes to realize that sometimes bad things happen no matter what you do or plan. I learned a lot about Kyle through the course of 373 pages.
This novel is incredibly well rounded. At heart, it is military fiction. However, the significant amount of character development suggests that this is character-driven military fiction. Many military fiction authors gloss over the details of location. Williamson describes the desert, the towns, the mountains, and even the houses in an appropriate level of detail. Williamson clearly wanted his readers to feel as though they were in Pakistan with our heroes. The culture was the best part of all. Because Wade and Kyle have to interact with several different groups, and because of their interactions with Nasima, I learned a lot about the Pakistani people.
I doubt there is any way I could recommend this book enough. If you like Clancy but think he is sometimes too detailed or too dry, then try "The Scope of Justice" by Michael Z. Williamson. Williamson brought his story, his characters, their actions and their locations to life. I hope I get the chance to read more Williamson books in the future.