Sean Drummond is a cocky Army lawyer with a long history in the secret world of special operations. When the legal maverick is assigned by the top brass to investigate a Bosnian massacre in which a Green Beret A-team and the Kosovo Liberation Army detachment they were “advising” got trapped behind Serbian lines, he gets the subtext that’s part of his orders. What the Army doesn’t need are headlines about the cold-blooded execution of 35 Serbian soldiers, and they’re counting on Drummond to clean things up fast, before a public scandal blows dirt all over their medals. Drummond is provided with two associates to help with the investigation: an attractive young woman captain who’s a Harvard Law School graduate, and an equally illustrious Judge Army General’s Corps lawyer whose reputation precedes him.
Once Drummond and his team get to Bosnia, it’s clear that the accused Green Berets have their own cover-up going, and they’re not going to make it easy for the lawyers to figure out what happened. Drummond has a few tricks up his own sleeve, and when he finds out that his CO has put a spy on his team, he’s even more determined to get to the bottom of what really went on, even if he has to bully his way out of a murder frame-up to do it. The moral dilemma Drummond faces when he learns the real story (and understands why the Army is so desperate to keep the cover-up going) reveals the man behind the maverick, and lifts Brian Haig’s novel a cut above the genre. Haig might have spent more time making his secondary characters as interesting as his protagonist and tightened up his narrative. Still, fans of military thrillers will find this a good enough read. (less)