Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Sniper Shot

Title: Sniper Shot
Author: Barry Ozeroff
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1596871504

Sniper Shot is the dramatic, suspense-filled debut novel about the ongoing and potentially deadly conflict between Ben Geller, primary sniper on the Stratton, Oregon Special Response Team and Bob Slater, the team's secondary sniper. Despite Slater's superior marksmanship, Geller is the primary sniper because Slater, a world-class long distance, high-powered rifle competitive shooter, lacks the patience and discipline needed to assume the position of primary sniper. Sniper Shot takes readers deep into the world of this special elite team, moving toward the kind of showdown nobody expects between Geller and Slater—one of them is a robber and murderer, and the game of cat and mouse between the two, sets up a taut, dramatic finale.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ozeroff, Barry

Code of Conduct

Title: Code of Conduct
Author: Karen Black
Genre: Fiction, Military
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0972444904

Matt Tillet, an F-8 Crusader pilot, is shot down over North Vietnam in 1966, just one week before his ship would be heading home after his second back-to-back six-month tour. Escaping from his spiraling out-of-control jet with only seconds to spare, and evading for all of three minutes, he becomes a Prisoner of War. Surviving torture, months of solitary confinement and the infamous Hanoi March, the dream of returning home to his wife and two children keeps him going. Repatriated in 1973, he returns to find his dream shattered.

Code of Conduct takes place in the middle of a war; however, it is not so much a blood and guts war novel as it is the emotional tale of a family torn apart by war, more than seven years of separation, and the long journey to reconstruct their lives.

While many POWs came home to broken marriages, the personal relationship portion of the book is purely fictional. The prison scenes are based on actual events that happened to the POWs in Vietnam. The story was inspired by many years of listening to the recollections of the author's husband and several of his Vietnam ex-POW buddies. Time does not seem to have faded their memories of what they went through (although they can now joke about it) and each reunion or get together provided a new tidbit.

The author's goal is to present the horrendous prisoner-of-war experience and the resulting shattered personal lives in the format of a novel.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Black, Karen

Bacalao

Title: Bacalao
Author: J.T. McDaniel
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0971220751

When Lieutenant Lawrence Miller first sees U.S.S. Bacalao in the builder's yard in late 1940, the submarine is little more than a pile of curved steel plates. During the next few months Miller watches the boat take shape, and the crew gather from throughout the fleet. By late 1941 Bacalao is in commission and assigned to the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Then, on a Sunday morning, everything changes as the Japanese sneak attack plunges the United States into World War II. The new submarine and her untried crew are immediately thrown into action against the Japanese. And Miller is there through it all, from the disastrous first patrol, when the boat is nearly lost and a pair of surprising heroes emerge, to the deployment to Australia, where a chance encounter ashore will change his life forever. Then, after spending a year in command of an antiquated S-boat in the frozen hell of the Aleutians, Miller returns to Bacalao as her last wartime commander. Written in a simple, straightforward style, Bacalao is destined to become an instant classic of submarine fiction.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McDaniel, J.T.

CID – Army Detectives in Peace and War

Title: CID – Army Detectives in Peace and War
Author: Hubert "Herb" Marlow
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0805995951

CID: Army Detectives in Peace and War focuses on criminal investigations, both funny and serious, conducted by the author and his fellow special agents. The cases range from thefts to murder, including the murders of two special agents in Vietnam, one of whom was a member of the author’s CID detachment. The book contains cases from WWII through Vietnam.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Marlow, Hubert "Herb"

Full Circle - Escape From Baghdad and the Return

Title: Full Circle - Escape From Baghdad and the Return
Author: Saul Silas Fathi
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0977711781

Full Circle... Chronicles a prominent Iraqi Jewish family's escape from persecution through the journey of one family member: A 10-years old boy who witnesses public hangings and the 1941 Krystalnacht (Farhood) in Baghdad. After a harrowing escape from Iraq through Iran, this boy begins a life-long search for meaning and his place in the world. His journey takes him to the newly-formed State of Israel, then to Brazil and finally to the United States. He joins the U.S. Army and serves in Korea and returns to a fascinating career in three Fortune-500 companies. Following September 11, 2001, he volunteers to work for the F.B.I. Genre: Youth and adult, anyone interested in the history of the Middle-East, the Jewish people, and Sephardic life under Islam.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Fathi, Saul Silas

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