Drake returns with great success to the pattern of his best military sf novels. After a near-suicidal operation, an elite company of recon troops has been "redlined" --declared pyschologically unfit. A complex and somewhat improbable experiment is mounted to save them: they will escort a column of civilians across an intensely hostile world to a final confrontation at an alien biological warfare center. This scenario proves the foundation of an excellent book, full of Drake's usual superb action scenes and ingenious weapons and menaces. Drake also does considerably better by his characters, both civil and military (including the women): even one of his stock-in-trade personae, the guilt-obsessed trooper, takes on new life under the name of Caius Blohm. This is, far and away, the prolific Drake's best book since The Sharp End
(1993). Roland Green
From the Back Cover
THE MISSION: REDEMPTION -- OR DEATH
The troops were walking dead already, so there wasn't much of a downside.
Major Arthur Farrell and the troops of Strike Force Company C41 had seen too much war with the alien Kalendru. They had too many screaming memories to be fit for combat again, but they were far too dangerous to themselves and others to be returned to civilian life. So a final mission was arranged: C41 would guard a colony being sent to a hell planet. If the troops succeeded, they might be ready to return to human society.
When the mission went horribly wrong, Art Farrell and his troops found their lives on the line as never before, protecting civilians to whom bureaucratic injustice was a new experience. And there was one more thing...
Redliners: a novel of hope and, possibly, redemption, a novel in which salvation is a two-way street.