BE CAREFUL WHO YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR ENEMY,
HE'S GOING TO BECOME JUST LIKE YOU
Patricio Carrera has been waging what amounts to a private world war to bring to justice the murderers of his family; He's raised an army and air force and used them. He's raised a fleet and he's about to use that. He's suborned one republic and is about to undermine another. He's tracked his enemies across half a world, breaking, in the process, any notion of international law that stood in his way.
Now he's deployed his legions to Pashtia, penultimate hideout of the Salafi Ikhwan who have made him what he has become. But with each step further from his home, revenge seems no closer. And with each step he leaves behind him a little of his dwindling humanity.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. Yet the trail itself grows cold, as cold as the snow-capped, windswept mountains of Pashtia. Only Carrera's hate still burns hot, and that's a fire that is slowly consuming him.
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Tom Kratman is author of A State of Disobedience (Baen). In 1974, at age seventeen, he became a political refugee and defector from the PRM (People's Republic of Massachusetts) by virtue of joining the Regular Army. He attended Boston College after his first hitch, then rejoined the Army until after the Gulf War, when he decided to become a lawyer. Every now and again, when the frustrations of legal life and having to deal with other lawyers got to be too much, Tom would rejoin the Army (or a somewhat similar group, say) for fun and frolic in other climes. His family, muttering darkly, still puts up with this. Tom is currently an attorney practicing in southwest Virginia.
Kratman (A Desert Called Peace) raises some disquieting questions about what it might take to win the war on terror in this military SF novel set in a future world with obvious parallels to our own. When Salafi fanatics launch a 9/11-style attack on the hated Federated States of Columbia, they end up killing the family of Col. Patricio Carrera. Carrera vows to destroy Salafism by any means necessary and raises an army in his wife's native land to provide that means. He takes the fight to Pashtia, where the planners of his family's doom are cowering. This disturbing but insightful narrative takes Nietzsche's aphorism about staring into the abyss and runs with it to its grim conclusion. As always, Kratman delights in offending left-wing sensibilities, but this will only enhance its appeal to his target audience, who will enjoy it for its realistic action sequences, strong characterizations and thoughts on the philosophy of war.