“[Hackworth is] honest, extremely intelligent, and perhaps the best military leader this country has had since Patton.” —Philadelphian Inquirer
How many years?
How many battlefields?
How many men have
What it takes to pay
THE PRICE OF HONOR
With a golden name and a platinum future, U.S. Army Special Forces Captain Sandy Caine was born to be a soldier. The latest in an eight-generation line of Caine men to serve duty, honor, country at West Point, Sandy’s character has been hammered out on an almost flawless anvil of military tradition. But one bad apple did fall from the Caine family tree. When he cracked under fire in Vietnam, Sandy’s father, Alex, dishonored the long gray line and sentenced his only child to a lifetime of brooding. Now, pulling tours of duty in one global hot spot after another, it occurs to Sandy that he knows a dozen ways to kill a man for every way he knows of being one.
Little does he know that the truth of what happened to his father in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has transformed into a thirty-year legacy of deception perpetrated by Washington’s most powerful players. And the only person with the skills to help Sandy untangle the Caine family secrets is Abigail Mancini, an ambitious civilian reporter with the Washington Chronicle, Sandy and Abbie know that combining Special Forces and the Fourth Estate is a recipe for disaster, but living dangerously is its own reward. In times of war, the first casualty is the truth. It’s not long before Sandy and Abbie learn that digging it up decades later can get you killed.
Retired army colonel and reporter Hackworth's first novel, a fine-tuned military thriller, follows on the heels of his two acclaimed nonfiction critiques of the U.S. military, About Face and Hazardous Duty. While conducting a mission in Somalia, Special Forces Captain Sandy Caine (an eighth generation warrior) meets up with Sgt. Major Dan Perkins, a soldier who fought alongside his father, Lt. Alex Caine, in Vietnam. The elder Caine, in his final battle, was branded a coward by men who "witnessed" the fight from a chopper overhead. The only survivor, Medal of Honor winner and now Republican senator Jefferson Taylor, has confirmed the story. But Perkins tells Sandy that his father was a hero. Before he can explain further, he is killed in action. Haunted by Perkins's statement, Caine and his lover, Abigail Mancini, a Washington D.C.-based investigative reporter, embark on a search for the truth. The discovery of a conspiracy (involving weapons procurement for the military) and a cover-up (which tarnished Alex Caine's record) draws Sandy and Abbie into a tangled web of army generals and Beltway politicians. And Abbie's investigations turn up another survivor of Alex Caine's final battle. As they edge closer to the truth, Abbie, Sandy and anyone connected to them find their lives threatened by guns-for-hire. What's more, Sandy's grandfather, General Caine, seems to be up to his elbows in all of it. With the help of Sandy's A-Team army pals (an ethnic mix of Caldwell, Mayemura, Kruger and Santana), Sandy and Abbie declare war on the conspirators. Despite some improbable typecasting--all the Special Forces soldiers seem to be buff and brainy culinary masters--Hackworth has written a top-notch, action-packed thriller that also ruminates on the state of America's military establishment. Author tour.