Better to Die. 1996: Sergeant Nick Adair defends British Army border post “Hotel 55” from being overrun by the IRA, but the only witnesses to his bravery tell a different tale, with themselves as heroes and Adair castigated as a coward.
2021: After a five-year stint with the French Foreign Legion, Jack Adair is determined to have a career as a Sandhurst officer, preferably in his father’s old regiment, the King’s Royal Rangers. But the KRR considers itself elite, professionally and socially, with scant room for a rough diamond like Adair. Cadet Vyvyan Phillips is more the thing: younger son of General Philips, the decorated hero of the Hotel 55 incident. The General’s reputation shines so brightly, it blinds everyone but Jack to Vyvyan’s incompetence. The rivalry between Adair and Phillips extends beyond the confines of training and field command. Both take a keen interest in fellow officer Gemma Page, of Intel Corps. And then the battalion deploys to Gaziantep.
“Jack Adair is a soldier’s soldier who knows his trade. Steve Smith has written a ripping-good yarn and knows of what he writes. Move over Bernard Cornwell and Wilbur Smith! We have another maverick who brings real adventure spiced with a devil-may-care-attitude that keeps him in trouble with his superiors but at the same time puts the Queen’s enemies on notice. Any ex-squaddie is going to be reminded of the hilarious comments made by their mates as they navigate the overbearing behavior of some of their superiors as well as the grim reality of real soldiering.”
— James Boschert, author of When the Jungle is Silent