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The casualties of war aren't only on the battlefieldComing back from war is never easy as Sergeant Dave Henley's platoon discovers all too uickly when they return from Afghanistan Home can be an eually searing battlefieldWhen they are summoned back to Helmand to protect the US team destroying the opium crop it is almost a relief to the soldiers if not to their wives girlfriends and families who are turned inside out once by their men's sudden departureAnd now danger lurks around every corner for Dave's team who must learn new skills to survive and their loved ones in England whose lives be ripped apart by eually deadly weapons blind prejudice acid jealousy ugly rumour

10 thoughts on “Battle Lines

  1. says:

    I enjoyed this novel and read it uite uickly as it engaged my attention thoroughlyWhile there is an extensive cast of characters the two key protagonists are Sergeant Dave Henley and his wife Jenny Their parallel narrative strands hold the story together Recently returned from serving in Afghanistan Dave and his unit are posted back to Helmund Province when the situation there escalates Jenny and her army wife friends are ambivalent they dislike the inappropriate behaviour and sullen moods of their repatriated husbands but also hate the idea of them returning to this difficult theatre of war The soldiers have similar resentful feelings about their families and domestic life back home The feelings of discontent between Jenny and Dave are exacerbated when she takes a job working for a retired Army general who makes uite a lot of demands on her time The rumour mill at the Army base where the personnel and their wives reside soon turns nasty accusing her of being unfaithful to her husband who is overseas doing his valiant bit for the free world Nasty bitchy stuff and it made me think very poorly of the secondary characters in this novel I thought the portrayal of the army wives was viciousYet it made me wonder if this kind of bitchiness really does exist in those hot house environments where army staff and their families are living cheek by jowl with each other Author Andy McKay a much decorated veteran of the Gulf War has an enviable reputation for the veracity of his stories about contemporary army life and the conditions of modern warfare in hostile settings like Helmund Province The scenes of the platoon members on patrol and under enemy fire were genuinely tense and scary to read I could not put the book down at certain stages so keen was I to ensure the chaps were safe in the face of that most reviled of enemies the Taliban But there are many light moments particularly the blokey banter around the army base which provides some relief from the tension of this well written well structured novel It reads well despite some obvious cliches and flat patchesMcNab and co author Kym Jordan toss in some meaty moral issues and contemporary social problems at various points in the story How do soldiers maimed in battle cope back in civilian life? Do you risk everyone's life and rush in to save a wounded mate or do you wait for reinforcements? How should you conduct yourself professionally in the field when your commanding officer is a selfish ignorant twat? All grist to the millI did have one frustration with this novel The text is littered with acronyms product names and military items which meant absolutely nothing to me What's a MERT or a T4? GPMG? RPG? Bergen? Barma? Hello Zero Alpha and Charlie One Zero this is Charlie One One At this location I have a CMT Class 1 I will now move from here to your grid ref with Vallons to give assistance Clearly it is designed to evoke immediate recognition among those readers with experience of these things For me it was a minor turn off

  2. says:

    I have read a lot of Andy McNab's books and loved every one from his own exceptional military experiences through to his gripping novels I skipped a few in order to read this book first just to see how well he managed with the assistance of Kym Jordan to deal with a military story line incorporating integral stories about the wives girlfriends and families 'back home' and the effect military life has on them I can only say that he managed it exceptionally well and the back stories were eually as gripping as the front line plot this time set in Afghanistan Whilst completely fictional I suspect there is some underlying truth to the trauma and loneliness and gossip that attends loved ones left at home Andy McNab just gets better and better

  3. says:

    After reading the first book out of the two 'War Torn' I expected very good things from Battle Lines And that's what I got I loved this book from start to finish Swapping between the men on the frontlines and the families left behind it makes for a very good read which I couldn't put down Great book

  4. says:

    although not a book for everyone I loved it from the very first word to the last For me one of the best book if not the best from Andy McNab Will be reading it again at some point

  5. says:

    I believe the main theme in this book is 'War' Though not the physical fighting and gore of the theatre of war but the lasting effects war can have on soldiers coming home from deployments Unlike other books the author also shows the effects war can have on the deployed soldiers families back at home awaiting and fearing the worst news I believe this is the key theme as the author constantly splits the books time between Afghanistan and England and he very accurately portrays both sides of war Through the eyes and mind of the soldier and through the eyes and mind of his wife and family back at home

  6. says:

    I wasn't sure at first gossipy misunderstood family drama one minute and Taliban the next The storyline grew on me and only represents the realities of men in the services and their familiesThink and uestion

  7. says:

    Decent book but if you don't have an army background some of the terms do get confusing It showcases the life of an army platoon how they miss it when they are at home and how much they hate it when at war

  8. says:

    A good read highly recommend

  9. says:

    Brilliant read

  10. says:

    It was a literally a battle on two fronts Not only was there war on the frontline but there was a domestic war between the families waiting for their men to come It was initially interesting at least at the start then extremely boring in the middle with a comical and semi thrilling ending It was not a great read and it didn't warrant over 500 pages to 'thrill' us Apparently Mr McNab has written better Bravo Two Zero comes to mind but this was not one of themFor for some five star classic war fiction which there is an abundance you could try any of the following The Sympathiser Viet Thanh Ngyuen 2015; A Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan 2014; A Book Thief Markus Zusak 2007; Alan Furst's A Polish Officer 1995 ”Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson 1995 Slaughter House Five Kurt Vonnegut 1969 Catch 22 by Joseph Heller 1961 and The uiet American Graham Greene 1955 Not this one 1 StarFor a much better read you could try any of the following military stories that this person has read in the last couple of years These were Richard Flanagan's A Narrow Road to the Deep North Andrew O'Hagan's Illuminations which was about how our normal lives are any but normal particularly for an officer returning from Helmand Province in Afghanistan; This person could easily compare Battle Lines with Illuminations and say that in Illuminations “It's a measure of O'Hagan's compassion that after balancing these stories of war and family braving the battlefield and braving the passing of time the ultimate note is hopeful and almost gentle of something that seems real and vital” ―Lucy Daniel The Telegraph Andrew Salmon's Scorched Earth Black Snow An account of the early years of the Korean War predominately in 1950 These were all excellent reads Battle Lines was not