Hell Bent - William G. Tapply Evie has left Brady for California to take care of her dying father, but she left no firm commitment to return, so Brady is left with his dog and townhouse. He’s visited in the office by Alexandra a former squeeze. (don’t modern characters manage any kind of longevity in their relationships - except perhaps for Steve Carella who doesn’t look so modern anymore. Thank goodness for Carl Houseman.) Alex wants Brady to handle the divorce of her brother a well-known photographer -- a non-embedded one -- whose wife has left him and is now suffering from the loss of his right hand and PTSD.

Gus winds up dead of an apparent suicide after sending an apologetic email to his estranged wife. Alex and Brady suspect foul play and soon Brady finds himself involved with potetnail terrorist actions. More and I would spoil things.

It would appear this is Tapply’s attempt to reconcile the anti-war movements of the sixties with nascent anti-war feelings (not activities since there does not seem to be any formal movement against the Iraq/Afghanistan wars at all) of today. At one point Gus rails against the symbiotic relationship between the military and journalists, each needing the other. Embedded journalists," he said. "They take the pictures they're supposed to take. They don't get to see the caskets, the body bags, the blood and brains splattered against the sides of buildings, the dead American kids half hanging out of blown-up Hummers, the mutilated Iraqi children...The brass. They couldn't control us. Couldn't censor us, couldn't tell us where to go, what to shoot. They knew we were after the stories they didn't want told. The senselessness of it. The failure of it. The friendly fire fatalities. The crappy equipment. The wrongheaded decisions. The dead children. They were all about covering up.”

A few reviewers have complained at the lack of action. Not me. I really like the characters Tapply develops and the two plots in this book are more than satisfactory. He’s a favorite.