Acts of Honor

Praise for Acts of Honor

Acts of Honor has become mandatory reading at the Pentagon. The first serious fiction to arise from the American experience at Abu Ghraib, Dickinson spins a believable military thriller with epic violence, an evocative sense of place, and characters who spring off the page.

Susan Mathews, author of Prisoner of Conscience, Hour of Judgement, An Exchange of Hostages

Acts of Honor is unsettling at many levels, forcing us to reexamine everything we think we know about love, war, torture, West Point, and human beings. It is a sophisticated thriller that reminds us that good men can do bad things.

        Pepper Schwartz,author of The Great Sex Weekend, Prime:Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years

Excerpt from Acts of Honor


August 15, 2003 (Friday)

Fallujah, Iraq


          The bomb that destroyed Major General Robert Tannerbeck exploded in Fallujah while he sat at his desk at the Combined Joint task Force Headquarters, 60 miles away in the bleeding heart of Baghdad. Iraq was rattled by a dozen blasts that day, and any one of them could have been the one that caused the American gloves to come off in the increasingly nasty war, but this IED killed too many of the two things that the United States Department of Defense held most precious: soldiers and children. When the decision was made to deal with the terrorists in a manner worthy of their crimes, it was Tannerbeck who would harvest the consequences.

          The bomb was similar to other Improvised Explosive Devices used by Sunni Muslims in their guerilla campaign to kill foreigners: three 82mm mortar rounds looted from an Iraqi armory stashed in the trunk of a Toyota and wired together with a manual trigger. The finger on the trigger belonged to Ahmad Nidal, a 22 year old martyr with a scraggly beard and the gentle hands of a musician, who had come to Iraq from Cairo. The youngest son from a family of cigarette peddlers, Nidal was determined to show the world that it had underestimated him. After a week of high living in Damascus, he had been smuggled across the Iraqi border with the help of Syrian soldiers, who turned him over to his Sunni handlers. These men scoffed at Nidal’s idealism, but they buffed his ego while locking him in a safe house with a Koran until it was time to die. After posing for a photo for his family, the young man consecrated himself to Allah. Bracing himself with faith, he now chanted in a whisper, “Al Allah Il Allah. Muhammad rasull Allah” as he steered his vehicle over the curb, aiming for the American combat vehicles in the school courtyard. “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”

To other books by Richard H. Dickinson