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.

Nearly Perfect Plan, The

Title: The Nearly Perfect Plan
Author: Karl Boyd
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0557034981

A lighthearted fiction crime thriller, The Nearly Perfect Plan is the first in a trilogy chronicling the adventures of Roger Booth and Carl James, two young ambitious confidence men.

Fate works overtime when Roger and Carl stumble upon the perfect way to hijack three Brinks armored trucks in broad daylight on the open highway and make them and their $34 million payloads disappear in a matter of minutes. They enlist the aid of twenty of their ex-Army buddies from the Kuwaiti war to pull off "The Perfect Plan".

Everything goes as designed, until the gang is celebrating their victories over the law enforcement agencies of two states and the FBI. Then, the fickle finger of fate steps in and they are captured.

As a result, their spoiled venture soon becomes known as The Nearly Perfect Plan. But sometimes, (as you will see), if you are clever and resourceful, nearly is close enough.

Filled with suspense, thrills and a little romance, The Nearly Perfect Plan will tickle your funnybone and make you ask for more adventures with Roger and Carl.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Boyd, Karl


Title: The Overcoat
Author: Conrad Larson
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1931916535

I would like to have a couple of points made about this book. THE OVERCOAT

1; the character of Charlene in this book represents a lot of the character that makes this area special and the heritage of the Midwest special.

This character Charlene endures nearly impossible circumstances to live to her eighties and leave a heritage of warmth, love, a witness of strength of character through her life, daughter, and grandsons.

This individual could be recognized by many of your readers and they will attest to the above statements. All of the tragedies are real but the circumstances have been changed for purposes of the fictional plot of the mystery novel. The struggles of character Charlene are almost impossible to believe and the depiction through the historical fiction style makes the telling of this story easier to divulge the magnitude of pain and suffering in this manner.

The book was written to make a source of knowledge for heirs of the main Character in the book.

The family which this historical fiction is based had nearly been lost through the years. The ability to find information about the family tree is left to searching historical museums as very few acquaintances might know much information. The current generations will have very limited access to information in 20 years when there interests start to peak.

My next book will be an intense biography which is nearly complete as we speak and will be based on the daily logs of the trench warfare of WW1 veteran about his personal time in war with written experiences by and of Oscar Dahlgren of Nora Township , Lowry, and Pope County. Every effort is being made to represent the actual feeling and stresses of the war by duplicating the journals as written. The journals surfaced within the last five years and are very valuable, fragile and very old. The book will preserve this piece of history for ever.

Additional research at Pope County Historical Museum found a similar report of some of the same incidents mentioned in these journals of other local WW1 hero's. This set of journals includes a lot of mention of other local WW1 soldiers from this area. The hero's of this era are now down to one living soldier alive as we speak. The details of this war are compelling and worth understanding for us to understand the character of our families that sacrificed so much for our freedom and good life we now have.

Further research is planned to see if a map of Oscar Dahlgren's war encounters can be put together to add proximity to the cities in a map for Belgium and France that his Company had been engaged in warfare activities. Some of the communities listed in the Journals were completely destroyed and the maps aren't listing the old names.

The title of the next book will be "CARRY ON Pvt Dahlgren"

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Larson, Conrad

Iron Triangle, The

Title: The Iron Triangle
Author: Joe Rhinehart
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Reviewer: Frank Evans

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1419680269

The Iron Triangle is set during the Vietnam War Era and is about a young Lieutenant and his romance with a Korean girl. This romance is followed by his deployment to Vietnam; where he is forced to confront both the enemies of democracy as well as the enemy within. This novel encompasses both love and war in a brilliant fashion; intertwining the two opposites to make a compelling and captivating story that will be sure to keep anyone on the edge of their seat. This novel is written in such great detail that it literally takes you to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. The author's expertise on guerilla warfare makes this novel a must read for any military commander or personnel. The author goes into great detail about setting up both live and automatic ambushes; in addition, the author goes into the minutia of the physical and mental anguish a soldier experiences during war.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rhinehart, Joe

Mop, The

Title: The MOP
Author: David M. Salkin
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1608363856

Washington, D.C., is a world of acronyms. FBI, CIA, NSA, DOD, the list goes on. Unlike the rest, the MOP doesn’t stand for anything. It is simply the name given to the small, top-secret team of American agents within the government that answers to only one man, the Director of the CIA. The Director of the CIA, risking perjury and personal liability, will deny, to his death, the existence of such an organization. Every president of the United States since Reagan knew that there was “something” out there, to be used at the discretion of the Director of the CIA, but none ever asked. There are some things that even the president of the United States of America doesn’t want to know. And so long as you like to sleep safely in your bed at night, you don’t want to know either. When it gets messy, you better get out the mop.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Salkin, David M.

Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa: With E. D. Swinton's "The Defence of Duffer's Drift" , The

Title: The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa: With E. D. Swinton's "The Defence of Duffer's Drift"
Author: Michael L. Burgoyne and Albert J. Marckwardt
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bob Flournoy

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0226080935

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era.

In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer's Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time--the hard way--which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population.

Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare--as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Burgoyne, Michael L.
Marckwardt, Albert J.