This powerful, dark, and morally provocative debut novelabout a US Special Forces unit operating in Afghanistan reads like No Easy Day meetsRedeployment.
It’s hot and getting hotter this summer inAfghanipakiraqistan—the preferred name for the ambiguous stretch of the worldwhere the US Special Forces operate with little outside attention. Team leaderDutch Shaw is missing his late grandmother. She was the last link he had tocivilian life, to any kind of world of innocence.
But there’s no time to mourn. After two helicopters in asister squadron are shot down, Shaw and his team know that they’re going to bespun up and sent back in, deep into insurgent territory, where a mysterious neworganization called al-Ayeelaa has been attracting high-value targets fromacross the region. As Shaw and his men fight their way closer to the source,mission by mission, they begin to realize that their way may have been preparedfor them in advance—and not by a welcoming host.
The Knife is adebut novel of intense authenticity by a former soldier in a Special Operations Command direct-action team. As scenes of horseshoes andhorseplay cut to dim Ambien-soaked trips in helicopters and beyond, Ritchell’sstory takes us deep beneath the testosterone-laced patter and into the lonelier,more ambivalent world of military life in the Middle East. The result is afast-paced journey into darkness, a quintessential novel of the American warsof the twenty-first century.
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