Verdict: Chuck Driskell weaves a riveting tale in Lahn’s Edge. Full of engaging sub-plots, the author maintains suspense until the very end.
Patrick Lacher leads a charmed existence for a lowly staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. Handsome, highly intelligent and financially well-off , he scores easily with women, drives an expensive car and lives in a fashionable apartment, rather than at the base where he is stationed in Giessen, Germany. He even has an altruistic side and volunteers with the local Big Brother organization. Appearances are deceiving, however, and as the plot unfolds we learn of Lacher’s darker nature.
Lacher is running a clever money-making scam with a Russian racketeer and is conducting a secret affair with his company commander’s wife. He takes on more than he bargains for when he meets a beautiful self-proclaimed student, Rebekkah Grafin, who turns out to be an operative for a terrorist organization known as PAB, the Proletariat Ascension Bloc. The PAB has already caused the death of one American soldier who was caught in their web.That doesn’t prevent Lacher from succumbing to Grafin’s charms, facing a similar fate unless he can overcome his feelings toward the girl and outwit her bosses.
The Lahn River that runs through Giessen becomes colored with blood as the plot thickens and the violence escalates. Lacher finds himself having to juggle many balls in the air at once. He must placate his married mistress while wooing his mysterious girlfriend. He is suspected of stealing fuel from the Army and of murder. At the same time he faces death threats from his Russian partner as well as the PAB, who want him to steal tactical nuclear warheads that are secretly stored at the Giessen base.
Lacher struggles to overcome the flaws in his character and stay alive while doing the right thing for his country. The plot gets heavy-handed in some places and stretches out beyond the bounds of good editing and, at times, credibility. The author’s knowledge of army life and the German landscape add much appreciated color to what might otherwise be a tedious cat-and-mouse game of suspense, making the book a page-turner.
Reviewed by Eveline Speedie for IndieReader
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