on 2 June 2010
This is a continuation of the Nathan Dixon story which picks up as he recovers from his wounds in the Phillipines. You could read this as a standalone but it might not make sense without at least some background on the key characters.
Nathan and his wife Chris are living with his stepmother, Jan, in Washington. Chris has resigned her commission and is heavily pregnant. She is feeling a bit lost until Jan fits her in at WNN - a role which unintenionally comes into conflict whith what Nathan is detailed to work on. Nathan is called in to be a special aide to the Chief of Staff for the Army which leads him to be breveted major to investigate a friendly fire incident in Iraq. An army unit is trialling unmanned combat vehicles in combat situations. As can be expected with such kit all is not quite going correctly and the contractor company is cutting corners to keep up reliability. One vehicle is proving more troublesome and goes rogue causing many deaths to Iraqi Army personnel. After Nathan arrives on scene this unit goes wrong again and this time the contractor is keen for it to be destroyed. The shenanigans are mildy macchiavellian and best read in context rather than here. There is another incident after this where, Nathan has to take over as senior surviving officer leading to him becoming injured again.
There is some good but brief interaction betweens characters in the book although there isn't much of it and the story feels light on substance. It's a good read for those following the series but I think they, too, will feel a little let down on the shallowness of the plot. Still worth buying.