Tour of Duty follows a set of characters at a US Air Force base in 1960s France during the Cold War. Written by William H. Coles, the book opens with Miles Ballard, a physician newly drafted into the Air Force who finds himself assigned as the GMO to Brigadier General Thomas Read of the Châteauroux Air Base. After arriving in Châteauroux, Miles soon becomes friends with fellow doctor Oliver Stern and his wife, Ingrid. When the General’s daughter Alyce Read, a journalist, arrives in Châteauroux, she accompanies Ingrid in her research for a book about her family members who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during the occupation. Meanwhile, Miles continues to battle his superiors regarding the treatment of the hospital staff. Over the years, these characters develop a special bond that will last a lifetime.
If you like to immerse yourself in slice-of-life stories, Tour of Duty is the perfect book for you. Author William H. Coles weaves an intricate yarn about a group of individuals from varying backgrounds who cross each other’s paths during the Cold War in the 1960s on an American air base in France. The plot is a slow burn but immensely delicious to consume. Character interactions primarily drive the narrative forward and lay the groundwork to show the inner conflicts and motives of said characters. Miles, Ingrid, Oliver, Alyce, and even Emily form an interesting dynamic, and every scene involving any combination of these characters was a treat to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.