The War on Terror provides the backdrop for the explosive thriller that ignites the bestselling Crucible series and introduces the roots of ultimate antihero, Max Ahlgren.
Captain Max Ahlgren is proud to be one of the first team commanders in the Marine Corps' nascent MARSOC detachment. Finally, the Corps' elite warriors are working alongside those of other branches, battling insurgents, not on the front lines but behind them. After his first mission, however, Max learns he will be replaced as team commander.
The new commander, Major Whitbeck, comes from 8th and I: Marine Barracks, Washington DC. His late father, a revered general, died in a terrorist car bombing. The commander is in Afghanistan for vengeance—and redemption.
When the team infiltrates the ancient desert fortress of Kazindrak, hunting an elusive Al-Qaeda terrorist, Whitbeck reveals his ineptitude in combat. Max's fury grows as the body count rises. When the actual nature of the mission is revealed, Max gets a good look at the sordid underbelly of the War on Terror and sees first-hand what monsters men can become. If he is to survive, however, he may have no choice but to become one.
Sometimes the greatest enemy is within…