Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyBolger, an officer in the U.S. Army and author of two studies of contemporary military affairs, makes an outstanding fiction debut with this military procedural. Captain Dimitri Donskov of the desantniks , the Soviet Army's elite air-assault forces, moves from a domestic training ground to Grenada to Afghanistan, learning the craft of war as practi c ed in modern Russia and discovering the limitations of Soviet methods against the mujahidin. Dogmatism, careerism and materialism presage defeat in Afghanistan as Donskov's superiors recruit him and his men for a desperate mission: ensuring Gorbachev's succession as premier and party chairman. Compelling descriptions of combat are juxtaposed with scenes illustrating the internal dynamics of Soviet leadership. Yet Bolger never abandons storytelling in order to explain or instruct. By novel's end, readers will know and respect the blue berets of the 688th Reconnaissance Company as fighting men to test the temper of any enemy. Convincing on all fronts, Bolger's effort triumphs as a war novel. 50,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library JournalThis is a war story with a different twist: It is set completely within the world of the Soviet soldier. Dimitriy Donskov is a natural soldier, independent and alert, courageous in battle and loyal to his comrades; the older and more seasoned officers select him for special missions, where he is blooded in vicious campaigns. Finally he faces the ultimate challenge--a mission which may change the destiny of his nation. Donskov is a desantnik , a Soviet paratrooper fighting in Afghanistan, in the very combat headlined in the news. Bolger, an active duty U.S. Army officer specializing in military history, writes with assurance and a sure command of military life. A glossary is included. On its own very limited terms the book succeeds, but only military buffs will care to read such a singleminded story. Buy for your war-gamers.-- Elsa Pendleton, M.L.S., Computer Sciences Corp., Ridgecrest, Cal.
- Random House Publishing Group
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