War is hell. And sometimes profitable….
Action, adventure, and intrigue intersect amid the war in Afghanistan in The Severance, a novel 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 a “rehabilitation 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 twenty-first-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 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 hijack it.
Is this second enemy one of them, another soldier at their base, or even Jake’s girlfriend? The mystery builds to a climax as their 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.
ELLIOTT SAWYER was an officer 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 and Army Commendation medals. 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.