The prologue opens with the discovery of a massacre in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 by a US reporter. The story then moves back one year, when we are introduced to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Beck, US Marine Corps Reserve, a successful trial lawyer, dealing with insurance and bankruptcy cases. Mike is a kind, generous soul, willing to look out for the less fortunate. Soon afterwards, Mike is appointed as a Staff Judge Advocate and then the Fallujah ambush of March 31 happens. Then, US Marines are sent into Fallujah and so is Mike.
Mr. Stone does an excellent job depicting life in the military, the interaction between the troops and the enemy they’re facing in Iraq. The pace is quick, the suspense overflowing, and the dialogue and the settings have a very realistic feel. The reader feels like he or she is right there, in the middle of the actions, among the US Marines.
The reporter is convinced of one version about the course of the events, but Mike does not believe it and starts his own investigation. What is the truth? Did the Marines execute an Iraqi family or is a clever ploy to blame the Americans? And what must Mike do to get to bottom of this story?