Dewey Andreas Series, No 2
St Martins Press
September 30th, 2011 / ISBN 9780312580766
by Elise Cooper
Ben Coes’ latest political thriller, Coup ‘d Etat,
is an insightful book about third world nations possessing nuclear
weapons. The story line can be taken from today’s headlines.
Imagine Pakistan and India, both nuclear countries, squaring off
against each other with America in the middle. Unfortunately, this
scenario is far too real.
The book begins with main character Dewey Andreas, while living
in Australia’s Outback, being confronted by a group of Arab
assassins hired by Aswan Fortuna, whose terrorist son was killed
by Andreas. He is able to turn the table on the assassins because
Jessica Tanzer, the U.S. national security advisor, is able to alert
Andreas has no time to reflect because he is asked by the US government
to eliminate Pakistan’s leader, a radical cleric named Omar
El-Khayab, who is determined to spread Islam throughout the world
by any means necessary. Just as World War I was started by small
incidents, a series of minor events between India and Pakistan escalate,
culminating with Pakistan dropping a nuclear bomb on an Indian city.
To avoid World War III, America decides to resolve this conflict
by having Andreas lead a commando team to assassinate El-Khaya and
to replace him with someone acceptable to America.
An interesting scenario is that Coes changed the rules of engagement
by outright killing a country’s leader and replacing him.
Coes commented, “There is no area of the world that we should
be more worried about. Since Pakistan is 97% Muslim, there is a
strong possibility that at some point they will elect a radical
Islamist. We spend a lot of time worrying about Iran getting a nuclear
weapon; yet, imagine with one election in Pakistan you could have
an Islamist in control of approximately 200. The US could be dragged
into a war between Pakistan and India. They hate each other and
are bitter enemies, making Red Sox and Yankee fans look like best
Except for the male and female main characters, the players of the
book are nations. The characters are symbols representing the ideas
and policies of countries. Coes artfully does this, allowing readers
to be put into the cockpit of a drone where they are viewing the
Dewey Andreas, the main character, is a former Army Delta Ranger.
He is a patriot who will do anything for his country. Coes was going
to make Andreas a Navy Seal but was told by his G-d-father, a former
Seal, the characteristics of Dewey were more like a Delta who “can
do an operation alone, an individualist that is tough as cement.”
The female lead is Jessica Tanzer. There is a great scene in the
novel where she gets both personal and professional revenge. Her
character plays many roles in the book, including assisting Dewey
in overcoming his robotic attitude. By encouraging him to fight
and risk his life for his country as well as allowing him to have
romantic feelings with her, Jessica brings him back into society.
In all his books Coes wants to get into the mind of the soldier.
A great quote in the book exemplifies this: “Being a soldier
means you care about something bigger than yourself. It means you
care about your country.” He commented, “They fight
for what WE believe in, something that is bigger than themselves.
They are the true heroes, putting their lives at risk for the country.
It’s the most honorable profession out there. In my mind,
they are the best.”
Since he views Israel as a true ally, Coes’ next book, The
Last Refuge, which will be released in June, has Dewey attempting
to rescue an Israeli comrade who was abducted by Iranian agents.
Jessica will also be back, and her relationship with Dewey will
Coup d’ Etat is a fascinating thriller that delves
into the Pakistan-India conflict. The reader will be on the edge
of their seat with a fast-paced, griping plot. The theme of the
novel has a clear message, which is that America does what is necessary,
including changing the rules of engagement. Once again Ben Coes
has shown that he can write a riveting book with a very believable