Tour of Duty, a gripping novel by William H. Coles, is set in France during the 1960s. It is here that Miles Ballard serves as a doctor in the Air Force. Although he becomes the General’s physician, the hospital commander considers any suggestion insubordination. Our hero’s life interweaves with that of other characters as a Jewish woman who seeks information about her family; an ex-girlfriend who would like to reconnect; and a journalist who is the adopted daughter of the General and is not loved by her family. They and others contribute to a great story that takes place in a country where the memory of the Republic of Vichy is still alive and, at the same time, has to face the threats of the Cold War.
Tour of Duty is one of those books where the reader truly feels part of the world the author describes. William H. Coles writes the dialogues between the characters very well so that the reading is pleasant, and the narration of the events is easy to follow. Even though there are many main characters and episodes, the reader never feels overwhelmed and wants to continue reading to discover what will happen next. I do not have a favorite character because everyone is important, but I have to admit that Miles and Ingrid (his Jewish friend) are those who impressed me the most. Tour of Duty is a book that will not disappoint readers looking for a compelling story, and I am sure they, too, will be as enthralled by it as I am.