Putnam, Jul 2001, 24.95, 368 pp.
Career military Martin Collins retired as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel following twenty years of active duty mostly with the Office of Special Investigations. Shortly after leaving the service, Martin's wife dies from cancer. Martin raises their twelve-year-old daughter by himself even as he serves as Chief of police of Warrenton, Virginia. Occasionally, he performs investigative services for the Air Force, working as a liaison between civilian authorities and the military police.
His current case centers on the professional murder of Colonel Margaret Wildman and her two children. Martin soon concludes that the children were murdered to get their mother to talk. Her refusal led to their death, her torture, and ultimately her death too. It appears as if the killers obtained what they sought. On the contrary, the victim worked in the Air Force Safety Office with no access to top-secret information, making the scenario painted by the physical evidence seems unreasonable. This leaves Martin and the other investigators shaking their heads as nothing makes sense.
Patrick A. Davis has written an action packed thriller that will keep readers' interest until the final page is turned. THE COLONEL is a terrific novel because besides being well written the events appear plausible, which adds to airplane passengers playing Russian Roulette every time they fly. Martin is a wonderful person who gains reader empathy early and never loses it as his actions turn him into a real American hero. Mr. Davis is deservedly making quite a name for himself within the thriller genre.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner