Miles Ballard may have thought finishing his medical program before being drafted into active military service was a stroke of genius, but he is unprepared for the unusual scenario he has been catapulted into. Frustrated with the lack of activity that comes with being the personal physician of a commanding officer who is more interested in irrelevant ceremonies than in doing the needful, he acquaints himself with the odd collection of individuals who make up his new home for the duration of his enlistment. How he chooses to make the most of his time in France is up in the air, but you can be sure there will be surprises along the way in William H. Coles’s Tour of Duty.
Intelligent conversations and memorable adventures comprise the highlight of this work of literary fiction by William H. Coles. His impressive storytelling style comes to the fore in creating his characters, as each is uniquely gifted with curious origin stories that could pass for true-life events. His ability to expertly recreate the atmosphere in Europe in the latter stages of the previous century is laudable, even going so far as to include the general anti-American sentiment that subconsciously pervaded the region at the time. I am impressed with how he blends a variety of interesting subplots varying from mystery and tragedy to romance but in a manner that ultimately conforms to what you expect to find in a close-knit military-oriented community overseas as the one Miles is thrown into. Tour Of Duty appeals to the avid drama genre aficionado with an eye for perfection in prose with its sedate pace and realistically toned style.