The Night Crew, by Brian Haig

Four stars (of five)

Haig returns to write another entertaining novel, starring Sean Drummond in his capacity as a military lawyer. While Drummond is living life under the radar, he’s approached to work on a highly-controversial military trial. A young personnel clerk has been brought up on charges for prisoner abuse. Photos leaked to the media show Lydia Eddelston putting Iraqi prisoners in highly compromising positions in order to prime them for interrogations. If this were not bad enough, a senior Iraqi official is dead after a severe beating, and the night crew is on the hook. Drummond must work with his co-counsel to get to the bottom of this highly sexualised case and find any possible loophole to free his client from the US military’s judicial system, while trying to determine who’s leading the prisoner abuse tactics. Drummond must also face past demons and try to make peace with the woman who’s caused him such grief since law school. Drummond plays hard and works even harder as he seeks justice for those who need it most, no matter the cost. While providing a serious argument for the use of interrogation by the US military, it is a refreshing return for those who are die-hard fans of Haig’s witty style.

After a long hiatus, Sean Drummond is back, complete with his acerbic wit and take no prisoners attitude. Fans of the John Corey character created by Nelson DeMille will adore Drummond and be attuned to his highly inappropriate style of breaking the ice. Haig is able to inject humour into a highly disturbing topic, with strong parallels to Abu Ghraib, and create not only a legal argument, but a social commentary on events of this nature within the military hierarchy. Told less from a soap box angle than much needed information, Haig is able to pull the reader in and keep them entertained throughout.

Kudos, Mr. Haig. A wonderful Drummond novel to tide us over as we wait to see if your Haig-Vince Flynn (RIP) project has been shelved or simply delayed.