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Tomorrow I cross my line of departure. I will have no backazimuth to bring me home…

In military terminology, a back azimuth is a compass direction followed back to a starting point, guiding a soldier home. Yet for Major Bill Slade, an inveterate drinker whose military career is mostly down the drain, it will take a considerable turn to reverse the course of his life. So when an assignment during Operation Desert Storm forces him to sober up, Slade’s fixation drives him to investigate a mystery he stumbled upon months before. During a routine training exercise in California, he had a near-fatal encounter with two acquaintances from his West Point days. Baffled as to what could have turned his former roommate into a murderer, Slade begins to dig…and uncovers a criminal conspiracy of inconceivable proportions. His quest for answers soon becomes an obsessive hunt for the truth that could end his career—and his life. Backazimuth is an engrossing military thriller that draws readers deep into the mind of a complex protagonist—an unlikely hero whose unconventional code of honor sets him on a dangerous path to vengeance, from which there can be no turning back.

Mike Smith is a graduate of West Point and a decorated veteran of Operation Desert Storm. During his career in the U.S. Army, he served as a combat engineer. Since his retirement in 1995, he has worked in the defense industry. Backazimith is his debut novel. The sequel, Across the Line of Departure, will be published in 2011.

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