Patrol by Fred Majdalany
He stared desperately into the dark trying to force his eyes to see, so that they ached more than ever . . . He sensed that the eyes of men were drilling into the back of his neck, so that it felt prickly. Being lost when you are the leader is the worst thing of all. He hated them because he was lost . . . Rage and despair were welling up inside him . . . 1943, the North African desert. Major Tim Sheldon, an exhausted and battle-weary infantry officer, is asked to carry out a futile and unexpected patrol mission. He'd been on many patrols, but this was to be the longest and most dangerous of all. Fred Majdalany's superb novel of the men who fought in the North African campaign puts this so-called minor mission at center stage, as over the course of the day and during the patrol itself, Sheldon looks back on his time as a soldier, considers his future, and contemplates the meaning of fear.