Wonderful... brilliantly written...
Synopsis (from B&N)
Ralph Peter's new novel, The Perfect Soldier, takes on one of the most troubling episodes in recent American history: the Soviet incarceration of American POWs, and their abandonment by the United States Government. A U.S. Army goodwill mission to a former Soviet republic has ended in terror and tragedy - one officer murdered and a second, Major Christopher Ritter, deliberately maimed. Now Ritter's heading home, leaving one land of intrigue for another: Washington D.C. From the Pentagon to the Senate, he's entering a different kind war - one in which sex, money, and influence are wielded like laser-bombs, and men of honor like Major Chris Ritter make easy targets. At stake are a series of photographs rumored to depict the KGB murder of American prisoners of war. At home, their exposure could set off a political firestorm. Abroad, they could have a devastating impact on U.S. relations with the new Russia. But the real shock waves hit behind closed doors, for whoever takes control of the photographs will possess the greatest aphrodisiac of all: power. Chris Ritter has been brought into the game by Charlene Whyte, a brilliant woman with a painful secret and now Assistant Secretary of Defense for Humanitarian Assistance. Perhaps the most-hated official in Washington, and the nemesis of the Pentagon brass, Charlene Whyte is full of good intentions...the kind that get good soldiers killed. And it's what Ritter doesn't know about Charlene, her secret connections and desires, that could make him the next casualty.
Engrossing....The Perfect Soldier is one who has the ability to obey any order, no matter what he thinks of it, as well as the command. Major Ritter is indeed that soldier. -- The New York Times Book Review