Drop Shadow

Of Vital Interest

Frank Demith’s Award-Winning Debut Novel

explores the duality of a soldier’s inner battle between faith, nationalism and love for fellow soldiers. Told through the lens of two Iraqi men now US Army soldiers, this interesting perspective provokes questions about allegiance and where it should lay: with God? Country? Or neighbor?

About the Book

Sergeant Abdullah is a trained linguist, soldier, and mechanic, giving everything he has to serve the country that gave him a better life.

This stalwart soldier is heading out on his fourth deployment to Iraq, where he grew up in a small village before moving to the States with his parents under a military visa program. He is eager to deploy to Iraq yet again and assist the military’s mission in any way he can.

Meanwhile, Specialist Al Khafaji joins the US Military as part of another special recruiting program through which he ultimately becomes a US citizen and soldier. However, Al Khafaji’s motives are unclear to his superiors, who cannot discern what is different about him.

While Al Khafaji moves through linguist training, he receives cryptic phone calls and emails as he prepares to deploy to Iraq, where his family still resides. What could these unsettling messages mean? Who is sending them?

In Of Vital Interest, Abdullah’s and Al Khafaji’s lives interweave as the two men join teams in Iraq, where the US Military works to dismantle a terrorist militant cell operating in a nearby village. This riveting and fast-paced novel will have you hooked from the very first page as each soldier makes his mission, whether good or bad, his life’s number one priority.

International Impact Award Winner

Frank Demith’s Of Vital Interest won 1st Place in the International Impact Book Awards Military Category in November 2023. The prestigious award is hosted by professionals in the publishing industry who select winners using a scoring system based on multiple factors; quality of writing, quality of editing, cover design, layout design, and overall book production.

antique picture frame
antique picture frame

Kirkus Reviews

Demith supports this action-packed story with his own vast knowledge of the military, carefully detailing the large amount of training and planning that goes into missions. Exposition is skillfully woven into the development of the story…which leads to a satisfying ending. For fans of the genre, this story of military action will not disappoint.

What readers are saying

“...A gripping fast paced read, it is hard to put down. You get pulled into the lives of the soldiers and what they are going through. This book has become my next great read!”

R. Williams, Army Veteran

This fast-paced novel provides a grateful and needed departure from the well-worn modern soldier themes lining today's virtual shelves.”

Thomas Loper, President of Precision Defense Consulting

“As a former first sergeant who worked closely with 09Ls, it brought back a lot of memories about the day-to-day environment at a unit, about interactions between Soldiers, and about getting ready to deploy."

Scott Brokaw, Army Veteran

Past Events

Photos from recent book signings in West Virginia and Virginia.

About Frank Demith

Connect with Frank


Frank Demith is a retired Army veteran who served on active duty for twenty-eight years. He graduated from the United States Military Academy and later worked on the Department of the Army team that developed the Army interpreter/translator program. He is a graduate of the Deliberate Discomfort Challenge and is a member of the Endless 6. In his free time, he enjoys reading history and fiction novels, visiting battlefields, and playing the saxophone. He currently lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia with his wife and their four dogs.