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Man in the Middle by Brian F. Haig
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Man in the Middle

by Brian F. Haig

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When you listen to a lot of audiobooks, those in a series tend to take on the characteristics of a particular reader, especially if h/she is well suited to a given author. I’m a devoted fan of the Sean Drummond character invented by Brian Haig who has been narrated primarily by Scott Brick. The narrator becomes Drummond. Brick captures all the nuances of Drummond’s humor. LJ Ganser is fine, just takes some getting used to if you are accustomed to Brick, but he often reads the wiseacre passages so endearing to Drummond fans too flatly.

Drummond is now a Lt. Colonel, still in the JAG, but assigned to the CIA in a special projects group and he’s assumed the role of an FBI agent to infiltrate the investigation into the suicide/homicide of a man with lots of classified access, Clifford Daniels, and the man about to be outed as a major force in promoting the invasion of Iraq.

The scene eventually shifts to Iraq where the plot gets thinner and the content more wordy. Haig engages in digressions that often have little to do with the story, and sometimes the point he wants to make regarding the war gets muddled. For example, he goes to great lengths to portray the dangers of Fallujah yet Drummond and his escorting contractors have little difficulty making it through town to their target where a great fuss is made over Bien’s conduct in identifying the man they want to kidnap (but only after a ridiculous banter over who gets to go that was really silly). Their attempt must be made speedily because the Marines are about to obliterate the town with artillery. Shift to a hospital where much is made of the injuries to soldiers from roadside bombs without even a consideration given to the effect of artillery on non-combatants.

One interesting historical mention was the terrorist bombing in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, in which a truck bomb was placed next to an eight-story structure that housed members of the coalition forces being used to enforce the no-fly zone in Iraq. Close to 500 coalition servicemen were killed or wounded as the whole side of the building collapsed. Precursors of many attacks to come.

In spite of a constant refrain that as members of the Army, both Drummond and Bian Tran, his female MP major sidekick follow orders, they consistently avoid doing what they have been ordered to do, all the while proclaiming the rightness of the cause.

The book resonates best when Sean is dealing with the bureaucracy and its silliness, less so when he meanders all over in assorted sermons/lectures. There are some seriously incredible plot twists and devices. But I do like some of the characters in spite of their flaws hence three instead of two stars. Haig (and his editor) need to learn the difference between imply and infer. ( )
  ecw0647 | Aug 19, 2016 |
Interesting book, just not my cup of tea. Lots of military and government agency jargon. If you're into government/military novels you would probably love this. ( )
  abcarroll | Mar 7, 2011 |
Ripped from today+s headlines, Army lawyer Sean Drummond caught between duty to Washington+s elite and the soldiers in Iraq. Dispatched to investigate the suicide of one of DC+s most influential defense officials-an ardent, early supporter of the war in Iraq-Drummond and his female partner find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between Washington+s most influential power brokers and his own personal allegiance to the soldiers dying overseas. What he uncovers are the secrets that led to the war, secrets that once exposed would destroy public support and undermine the presidency. Now, Drummond faces the greatest moral quandry of his life: What is the true meaning of patriotism? ( )
  dspoon | Jan 12, 2010 |
This turned out to be a fair book but the first 12-15 hours were like listening to a monotone reader read the New York City phone book. Lots of boring, boring sleep inducing back story!!
  ostara45 | Aug 11, 2009 |
I had two problems with Man in the Middle. First, the story relied upon the relationship between newly-promoted Lt. Col. Sean Drummond and another character. Unfortunately, the relationship never "worked" for me. Second, I saw the twist long, long before it happened (although, I guessed the twist for completely wrong reasons). Thus, I was left with a bit of a disappointed feeling. ( )
1 vote MSWallack | Aug 25, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446530565, Hardcover)

Despatched to investigate thesuicide of one of DC's most influential defence officials- an ardent, early supporter of the war in Iraq -Drummond and his female partner find themselves in themiddle of a tug-of-war between Washington's mostinfluential power brokers and his own personal allegianceto the soldiers dying overseas. What he uncovers are thesecrets that led to the war, secrets that once exposedwould destroy public support and undermine thepresidency.Now, Drummond faces the greatest moral quandary ofhis life: What is the true meaning of patriotism?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Investigating the suicide of a Washington defense official, military lawyer Sean Drummond is caught in the middle of a political struggle between influential power brokers and his own allegiance to the soldiers fighting in the Iraqi war.

» see all 3 descriptions

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