Fans of Ringo's military SF epics (Into the Looking Glass) may at first think Mike Harmon, the hero of this unusual novel, is cut from the same cloth as Mike O'Neal from the Posleen War series (Watch on the Rhine, etc.). Like O'Neal, Harmon is a former Navy SEAL trying to adjust to civilian life who gets sucked back into action by circumstances, in particular by his witnessing the kidnaping of a college coed by jihadists. It becomes clear, though, that Harmon has a darker side, to which, by late in the book, as illustrated by a shocking scene in a Bosnian brothel, Harmon has almost completely surrendered. More techno-thriller than SF, this is a picaresque tale about a modern Barry Lyndon who resists, with equivocal results, baser instincts brought out by extreme stress. It's refreshing to find a successful popular writer who's not afraid to try something different, and the adventurous reader will find Ringo's latest insightful, exciting and outrageously funny.