The Common Defense

The Common Defense

by Ed Ruggero

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the near future of Ruggero's second techno-thriller (after 38 North Yankee ), U.S. ``advisers'' have been assigned to the Mexican army as part of an anti-drug campaign. Infantry captain Mark Isen and Delta Force major Ray Spano, already aware that the local authorities bitterly resent their presence, run into larger troubles when neo-nationalist German terrorists, led by Heinrich Wolf, infiltrate Mexico and attack U.S. targets with bombs and nerve gas. The planned climax of Wolf's campaign is a strike against Washington on July 4; Isen and Spano have 48 hours to stop him. Ruggero, who demonstrates sound knowledge of the U.S. Army's inner dynamics, has a good ear for dialogue and the ability to create effective characters--the relationship between Isen and his wife is especially convincing. But these virtues are subverted by his focus on two tangentially connected themes. The question of whether U.S. armed forces can provide a quick fix for the drug problem outside the country's borders is posed but never developed, and Ruggero switches to a conventional terrorist adventure that overshadows the initial, more promising story line. In the end, the reader is left unsatisfied. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Captain Mark Isen, hero of Ruggero's 38 North Yankee ( LJ 5/1/90), makes a second appearance, this time in a technothriller set in Mexico. Isen, assigned to a U.S. Army drug interdiction program, has to cope with Mexican opposition, incompetence, and apathy in his primary training and liaison role, as well as with a group of German terrorists armed with chemical weapons that is operating out of Mexico. A fast-paced piece of genre fiction, the book is somewhat weakened by Ruggero's treatment of his Mexican and terrorist characters, whose individuals remain little more than cardboard stereotypes for the Americans to encounter. This weakness is unlikely to influence readers looking for a military thriller, however, and the title will undoubtedly be in heavy demand, particularly with readers of Ruggero's first novel. Recommended for collections where the works of Tom Clancy and Larry Bond have been popular.-- Stanley Planton, Ohio Univ.-Chillicothe Lib.

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Atria Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

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