An epic tale of America at war with Mexico. 2 cassettes.
Set in the early 1990s (most works of fiction often reflect the times in which they are created) a short time after the abortive Moscow putsch, Trial by Fire begins with a deadly and successful coup d'etat in Mexico as the military, fed up with the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) party's corrupt and inept ways, does away with the President and most of the PRI leadership. Motivated -- mostly -- by patriotism, genuine concern for Mexico's countless millions of poor inhabitants, and a desire to kick the country into the approaching 21st Century, the new Council of 13 moves quickly to sweep aside political opposition and the powerful criminal organizations that practically run some of the country's states.
But when Col. Alfredo Guajardo, one of the members of the new military junta, sets his sights on Hector Alaman, aka "El Dueno" (The Manager), a notorious drug baron whose empire has spread across the entire Caribbean, the New Revolution that he has helped to successfully bring about will be jeopardized by the aftershocks of a daring military raid on Alaman's fortified villa/compound at Chinampas. While the Mexican army's heliborne assault is a nominal success and the huge estate is captured, Alaman himself escapes along with a handful of experienced, ruthless and highly paid mercenaries.
Alaman's escape from the raid at Chinampas will soon prove to be more than an embarrasing incident that can be dismissed by the new rulers of Mexico.Read more ›
All things considered, Trial by Fire was an enjoyable book. I have read a number of Coyle's novels, some of which featured Lt. Nancy Kozak. In Trial by Fire, I had the opportunity to go back to the introduction of Lt. Kozak. The story was not as tight or compelling as some of Coyle's other works, but it was a solid work nonetheless. The plot started quickly with the overthrow of the Mexican government and increased tension between Mexico and the US. The rising anxieties, escalating conflict and troubled negotiations were certainly plausible. For Coyle fans, this novel is worth the time. I am glad that I went back to pick this up.
Part of the story is told from the point of view of a woman who's about to become a commander of her own platon unit. Her experiences and adventures in the book alone make for a very interesting story in itself. Some scenes I enjoyed: one officer can't help but stare at her breast, another one where she needs napkins, and what a well-rested soldier looks like. Kozak's story into the military is a somewhat ideal presentation of the author, and so don't expect a highly realistic exploration of integration of women into the American military. But if the author were more serious, we should see other infantrywomen besides Kozak.
The battle scenes are not as descriptive this time. The first day of war but when you start reading that part, you're already in the middle where US troops suffer huge casualties. The Mexicans are shown as highly motivated and seemingly well-trained for this war. And there's something corny when the troops talk to the main Mexican character, Col. Guajardo. And Mexico seems to be described as a utterly poor country than it actually is. Hey, my Diamond Supra modems are made in Mexico.
It's not directly mentioned, but the story does take place in 1995.Read more ›
The biggest problem I have with this book is two faulty assumptions Coyle makes. Read more