Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Tour of Duty is a work of fiction in the historical and realistic drama subgenres and it is a standalone work. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by William H. Coles. In his new novel, this prolific author brings life in the 1960s to full living color, focusing heavily on France and its experiences during the Cold War. American Air Force physician Miles Ballard takes a central role as he follows his path to surgical qualifications, and Ingrid, the wife of Miles’s best friend, seeks out long-lost relatives in the horrifying aftermath of the Holocaust. What results is a tale of many paths crossing and how resilient the human spirit must be against clashes of culture and morality.

Having read many works by William H. Coles before, I knew I would get a very detailed, highly atmospheric, and deeply committed novel that sought to bring a powerful message forward. I was thoroughly rewarded by this fascinating story and its unique setting, the likes of which I’d never even considered before. Coles has a knack for delivering cultural sensibilities and tensions in a way that never feels gimmicky, and he presents realistic drama that hits deep in the reader’s heart, but never with any unnecessary fanfare or staged drama. As a result, Tour of Duty is a powerfully emotive work that balances out its high literary style with dynamic central characters, key emotional scenes, and heartfelt dialogue to tell the tale of a country in crisis, and the outsiders who have to survive there.