Many thanks to the Military Writers Society of America for including my novel Silent Enemy in its recommended reading list! Silent Enemy, now in hardcover from Putnam, will be released in paperback in June.
In the novel’s opening chapter, a terrorist bombing strikes the Afghan National Police training center in Kabul. The attack creates a large number of wounded, who need to be flown out of the country for medical treatment. Sergeant Major Sophia Gold is in the building at the time of the attack because she helps run a literacy program for Afghan police recruits. Gold escapes serious injury, but she plans to accompany her injured students on a medical flight from Afghanistan to Germany.
When Gold arrives at Bagram Air Base, where the medical flight will originate, she learns the mission will be commanded by her old friend, Major Michael Parson. Shortly after takeoff, Parson and his crew learn terrorists have also planted a bomb on board the aircraft. The bomb is barometrically triggered, set to explode on descent. The crew and patients are trapped at altitude until they can find a way to deal with the problem.
Through aerial refueling, the jet can remain aloft for an extended time–but not forever. As time goes on, the mechanical condition of the aircraft deteriorates, the medical condition of the patients worsens, and the crew grows more and more exhausted. To make matters worse, as word of the predicament spreads, various countries begin to deny landing rights. What would have been a relatively short flight from Afghanistan to Germany becomes an aerial odyssey more than halfway around the world.