Bright Star

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

BRIGHT STAR picks up two years after the close of SWORD POINT with a disillusioned Scott Dixon contemplating retirement from the U.S. Army. Dixon, who won a Medal of Honor in the tripartite war involving the United States, the Soviet Union, and Iran described in SWORD POINT, is unable to come to grips with the post-traumatic shock of that conflict--so much so, that his marriage is on the rocks and his career at a standstill. Dixon is not sure what he wants to do in the future, but he is positive that leading men in combat is definitely out of the running.

Unfortunately, Colonel Nafissi, the second-most-powerful man in Libya, initiates a series of events that force Dixon to be placed once again on the forward edge of battle. Nafissi is tired of being the second banana in the Libyan government. In consequence, he devises a plan to ensure that he will succeed to total power on the heels of a military victory over Egypt.

Nafissi is well aware that the United States will hardly look with favor upon a Libyan victory. Moreover, he is not unappreciative of the fact that in a straight war Libya has little chance against the well-equipped Egyptian army. Therefore, he schemes to involve the Soviet Union in the conflict as a shield, if not an unwilling ally, against Egypt. Nafissi’s plan is successful, and step by step the United States and the Soviet Union are drawn closer to armored conflict in the western desert. Neither of the great powers wants...

(The entire section is 490 words.)