Normally I review mystery novels,
but every once in awhile I run across an off-genre book that is
too good to pass up. Todd Stone's The Best Defense fits nicely into
that category. The author's background as an Army Airborne Ranger
officer combined with his time spent as an assistant professor at
West Point provide him with all the credentials he needs to create
this extremely intense and believable story.
tale begins when the United States Army assumes custody of a stockpile
of Russian weapons left over from the cold war years. The arsenal,
which includes a number of nuclear devices, remains within the boundaries
of Russia on property purchased by the United States government
and under the command of United States Troops.
the company commander is determined to be unfit, he is replaced
by Major Valerie Macintyre, an inexperienced but confident and resourceful
leader. Her resources are not exactly hardened combat troops; they
are more the clerical type with a few MP's thrown in for balance.
The group is small in number and is made up mostly of women.
of "master warriors," led by an obsessed Russian officer,
attacks the Infernesk Special Munitions Depot with the intent of
capturing the weapons for resale to the highest bidder.
defense strategy provides an intriguing preview of the upcoming
battle as the new commander calls on Sergeant Major Denight, her
only seasoned combat veteran, for advice and guidance, while the
Russian leader seriously underestimates the resolve and determination
of the defending force.
The battle scenes are vivid and intense.
It's almost as if the reader is there, hearing the gunfire and feeling
the concussion of the mortar shells. You can see the action and
smell the smoke. Just as in a real war, there is no chance to rest
or catch your breath. The action is so real, I can guarantee that
you will feel the battle fatigue after reading this book.
Best Defense is about the triumph of good over evil and it tells
the story well.