Pressfield, author of five war novels set in antiquity (most recently The Afghan Campaign), turns to desert warfare in late 1942. Lt. R. L. Chapman, 22, a tank officer in a British armored brigade, finds himself seconded to a special-ops force in North Africa, the Long Range Desert Group. The LRDG has been tasked with creating havoc behind enemy lines. If they can track down and kill Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, they may avert a looming catastrophe. Rommel’s Panzerarmee has routed the British Eighth Army and is poised to take Egypt, Suez, and the Middle East. If his troops gain the oil fields, Hitler will crush the Red Army. In these desperate straits Chapman and his fellow commandos work to carry out their mission. Pressfield’s story, remarkable for its historical accuracy, is dense with detail. At times, like war, this can be a hard slog, but readers will be rewarded with a vivid and gripping re-creation of the North African campaign. A signal achievement recommended for all collections of historical fiction.