Author ~ Elliott Sawyer
Publisher ~ Bridge Works
Publication Date ~ Available now
An action-packed mystery centered on a hijacking and murder plot that takes place in the midst of the war in Afghanistan, The Severance is a thriller whose authenticity springs from author Elliott Sawyer’s two combat tours as a decorated captain in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Severance is the story of deadly intrigue within a “rehabilitation platoon,” a platoon made up of bitter, unruly troublemakers and misfits whose past disciplinary sins have led the Army to put them into this unit, a unit assigned the dirty missions no one else wants. They are 21st Century counterparts of the World War II rogue soldiers in The Dirty Dozen, the 1965 bestseller made into the classic movie of that name. The Severance, set on battlefields as timely as today’s headlines, is both a caper tale and a tale of American soldiers urgently searching within their own ranks for an unknown foe bent on larceny and murder.
The platoon’s leader is Captain Jake Roberts, picked as punishment for past lapses of his own. He and his men, fighting and patrolling in the Afghan mountains, discover a large cache of American dollars hidden by a corrupt contractor. They devise a plan to hide it and later smuggle it out of the country when they are sent home for discharge. They call it their “Severance pay package.” Soon the men discover the Taliban insurgents aren’t the only enemy they must confront and defeat on and off the battlefield. Someone has found out about The Severance and wants to highjack it.
Is this second enemy one of them, another soldier at their base, or even Jake’s girlfriend, a nurse? The mystery of thieves hunting thieves builds to a climax as the unknown adversary tries to kill Jake and some of his men while they seek to safeguard The Severance and determine the identity of their deadly stalker.
About the author ~
Elliott Sawyer was an officer, an Air Assault Captain, in the 101st Airborne Division. He saw action as a combat patrol leader in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 and during a second deployment in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and an Army Commendation Medal. Now, back in the United States, he commands a training company of up to 240 soldiers. He and his wife live in Elgin, Oklahoma. The Severance is his first novel.
Sawyer’s first combat tour, in Iraq, included heavy fighting in Al Dora, a marketplace and neighborhood in south Baghdad on the south bank of the Tigris River. It is astride the fault line between the Sunni and Shia populations and their then-warring militias and insurgent factions. He experienced more than ten IED (improvised explosive device) strikes there and numerous ambushes and other attacks as his platoon went on raids, fought insurgents and carried out other missions. In Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009, he was a Field Artillery platoon leader and a fire direction officer at Firebase Shkin, a cluster of mud buildings located about four miles from the Pakistan border at an elevation of 7,800 feet. He and the more than 40 soldiers under his command provided artillery support from their 105mm howitzers for Special Operations forces. They were bombarded by enemy rockets daily, sometimes hourly. Later, Sawyer led another platoon assigned a dual mission: protecting the colonel who commanded their battalion, and also acting as the Quick Reaction Force to any unit in need of reinforcement in their area—which was often.
Sawyer was born and grew up in Chester, Virginia, south of Richmond, and received a B.A. in History from Radford University, Radford, Virginia.
Find Elliott on Facebook
Follow Elliott on Twitter
Visit his website