The Eighth Day by Harold Coyle

four stars

eightInspired by the 1961 political thriller, Seven Days in May, written by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey, The Eighth Day is a suspenseful journey that again pits the United States Army against the government in Washington D.C. However, this time, the stakes are changed, the story is more realistic, and the characters are more relatable. The novel kicks off with an incident on the border between Arizona and Mexico, where a skirmish between a US militia group  and members of a hostile drug cartel quickly escalates into a much bigger problem. The leader of the militia, a magnetic former Marine colonel decides the actions of this group of men, his actions leading to a constitutional crisis that soon brings the country to the brink of chaos. With little choice, the government follows a presidential order to send US troops to cease the actions of the militia, causing worlds to collide, as the various sides of the situation fight with all they’ve got to achieve what they want.

By perfecting his pacing, Coyle gives readers a intriguing military thriller that combines with elements of politics to create an excellent juxtaposition. With a varied cast of characters, and memorable personalities on each side, the chapters switch back and forth between locations, point of view, and plot lines. The novel succeeds at bringing everything all together, quick enough that the story is always churning forward, but giving each part of the narrative enough space to breathe so that characters can be well-developed, and situations can be thoroughly explained. In a time when our country is experiencing political difficulties across the board, this kind of thriller is sure to pique reader’s interest with it’s well-constructed story.

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