Balancing Power


A novel by Francis Graves
Francis Graves, a life-long friend of Major Plaster, was a combat veteran of WWII and the Korean War. Major Plaster was honored to write the introduction to his book.

The novel is fast-moving, action of a power struggle between a leftist anti-USA president, bent on changing his country's democracy into a dictatorship, and a pro-USA military officer who risks everything to preserve the democratic system.
Conspiracy, intrigue and closely drawn characters – people you will get to know and like, and some you will not like at all. If you are interested in politics, military organization and tactics, and want a glimpse of Central America as it has been and maybe still is, this softcover book is for you. It is fiction, but it is also real. (We have author signed copies in stock)

1 in stock



An excerpt from the book:

The young policeman was bored and drowsy. The night was moonless and dark at 0430, and without road traffic the quiet was oppressive. He paced back and forth within the confines of the police box trying to keep alert. This was not the kind of duty he had anticipated at the time of his graduation from basic training four months earlier. He expected his new career would be more exciting than the dull routine of his assignment to the Tuxla highway checkpoint detachment.
During his long four months there, there had been only one event which had been non-routine and memorable. It had occurred a month earlier. The detachment had been ordered to detain a two-truck convoy from the infantry brigade which had been traveling the national highways without Permisos de Transito documents.
The incident was exciting for the young policeman who had been on duty at the time. He was present to witness the angry reaction of the sergeant in charge of the convoy who had been abusive and furiously remonstrated with Lieutenant Simoni, the detachment commander, at being detained. The lieutenant had not budged however and the frustrated sergeant spent a good hour trying to reach his headquarters by telephone. He must have finally made the connection because after several hours more the lieutenant received orders to release the trucks.
He and others in the detachment had taken some satisfaction from the incident. There was little love lost between the National Police and the Autonomous Infantry Brigade whose members were regarded as arrogant, overpaid and under-worked. The incident confirmed for them that the police indeed had some power, even over the brigade. He had felt renewed pride in being a policeman because of that.
He yawned and stretched, looking forward to being relieved at 0600 for a hot shower and breakfast. Suddenly he came alert. His ear had caught the sound of a truck engine in the distance. He looked up the highway to the north expecting to see the reflection of headlights, but there was only blackness. He opened the door of the box and listened, but heard nothing. Puzzled he concluded his ears had deceived him and he returned to his reverie.
He revisited his favorite daydream, a dream he frequently used to entertain himself during idle time since he first decided to become a policeman. He imagined himself courageously facing down a dangerous enemy to rescue the daughter of the Commandant of Police and thereby winning accolades, fame and a promotion. He wanted action. He wanted to be tested and often prayed for the opportunity to distinguish himself. His ever present resolve was to remain alert and ready to act. He was sure the challenge would come, probably when he least expected it, and he wanted to be ready when it did.
He was deep in these thoughts when the door of the police box was violently flung open and he found himself staring at the muzzle of an M-16 rifle. Behind the weapon was a grim-faced soldier wearing the gray beret of the Lobo Battalion of the Autonomous Light Infantry Brigade.
The insides of the young policeman knotted. His heart pounded. He was suddenly afraid. The resolve of a moment before had melted and he raised his hands in submission.
This story is continued in the novel Balancing Power.
Soft Cover-6″x9″-428 pages

Additional information

Weight 1.6 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .75 in