Kirkus Reviews –
An ABC News senior White House correspondent chronicles the short life of a doomed American Army outpost. Combat Outpost Keating, located in northeast Afghanistan, was built in 2006 and hastily evacuated in October 2009; American bombers immediately pounded it to rubble. Intended to serve as a base for the promotion of infrastructure-development projects and the interdiction of insurgents from Pakistan, Keating was near the border but far from American air support. It was clear from the outset that the outpost was poorly located--surrounded by three mountains, on the edge of a road that proved too fragile to support Humvee traffic. Tapper (, 2001, etc.) introduces the men of the three successive American cavalry squadrons who served there, gradually revealing their backgrounds, problems and aspirations, and wives and girlfriends, then describing in detail what insurgent bullets did to their flesh and bone. This is a story of men who were ordered to occupy a remote corner of Afghanistan and unquestioningly did so to the best of their abilities--or some, at the cost of their lives. It also reflects the entire Afghan war in microcosm: too few men holding hostile territory with insufficient support, for goals no one can clearly articulate. This is a narrative, not a polemic, and Tapper patiently lays out the history of what happened at Keating in a gripping, forceful style, describing the daily life of soldiers and the experience of combat. In the process, there also emerges the folly of committing military forces to a poorly defined task in a location that could not be adequately defended or logistically supported. Whatever may have been the merits of the original intervention in Afghanistan, this unadorned, powerful account challenges the purposes and wisdom of America's ongoing military presence there. A timely indictment of a thoughtless waste of young American lives.
Library Journal –
The author's most recent novel, The Lion, which featured his popular hero John Corey, debuted in a tie for the top spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2010. Now Corey is back, working in antiterrorist capacity with his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, in Sana'a, Yemen. Alas, things are not quite as they appear.
Kirkus Reviews –
The United States is on the brink of approving the fastest, most powerful attack submarine ever when its designer is killed and his plans are stolen. In his efforts to recover a crucial piece of the prototype, superseaman Dirk Pitt faces a series of violent encounters on land and water. In his 22nd adventure (, 2010, etc.), Pitt, director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, is matched with Austrian baddie Edward Bolcke. A grudge-bearing villain out of James Bond who made his fortune in mining in Colombia and Panama, he has been adroitly manipulating the Chinese by selling them their own rare earth elements. The magnetic properties of the minerals are vital to the development of weapons systems and other computer-based properties--which may explain why ships transporting the materials have been disappearing and bodies have been found burnt to a crisp by irradiation. Teaming with the attractive and dangerously impulsive NCIS agent Ann Bennett--as well as his oceanographer daughter Summer and marine engineer son Dirk Jr.--Pitt applies all his skills as an ex-Air Force man to outsmarting and, in some cases, outrunning Bolcke's henchmen. The action scenes can be predictable, the dialogue wooden. But to their credit, the Cusslers (collaborating for the fifth time) overcome the factory aspect of these novels with bursts of energy and efficient storytelling. They also sustain a level of intelligence not always found in mass-market adventure fiction. Ranging from Panama and Mexico to Idaho and Washington, D.C., this book is constantly on the move--one reason it avoids dull spots so well.
From Barnes & Noble –
For seven days, neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander lay in a hospital in a deep coma. When he regained consciousness, he had detailed memories of an angel-guided tour of the afterlife. This is his story.