St. Martin's, Nov 2007, $24.95
Canadian journalist Samuel Simpson joins as a grunt a United Nations peacekeeping force that is also investigating terrorism and war crimes. His unit seeks to find the evidence that will bring to justice those who committed the crimes against mankind before and during the recent civil war and those who continue the atrocities.
His tour of duty is New York months after a dirty bomb destroyed much of Manhattan and other attacks eliminated most of the American electric grid. The United States collapsed and a civil war further devastated the country. As Samuel and his undersized squad investigate a particular ugly atrocity in Upstate New York, he realizes as snipers kill some of his peers that anyone could be the angel of death.
This may be the thriller of the year as Brendan DuBois combines plenty of action, twists especially that initial set up in which the audience assumes some Baltic or African nation is the setting, and introspection on what is a war crime to include torture. Samuel is an interesting protagonist as he is starts out naïve and idealistic, but quickly becomes mature and caustically realistic as he helplessly sees death everywhere. Readers will ponder beyond the presidential candidates and White House sound bites to what if an even greater more concerted attack occurred to America than 9/11 once we understand who the Belgians are donating tents to.