Paperback, 432 pages
Graves' new novel, Balancing Power, is an intelligent, well-written and compelling story set in a fictional Central American country - Naranjeras. A democratically-elected president has been ousted in a coup d'etat and the grip of authoritarianism is closing. General Francisco "Pancho" Portero, who commands an elite regional security force, seeks to stem the tide - first in the political realm and then on the battlefield. Graves has a superb grasp of both the strategic and tactical elements of the conflict and relates them in a crisp, exciting military style. He knows whereof he speaks having lived in both Mexico and Panama and having traveled widely throughout Latin America. He also knows the military having served in combat in both WWII (as a junior aide to Gen. George S. Patton) and Korea. Now, age has nothing to do with a good book, but he's a WWII veteran. Do the math!