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.

Midnight Mile, The

Title: The Midnight Mile
Author: Denis W. Flood
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 159571393X/a>

When Marine Corporal Jackie Carroll's body comes home from Vietnam, the family and townspeople of Peekskill, New York, try to cope with the loss of a son and star athlete. The author captures the spirit of a town filled with quirky and endearing characters whose animosities and friendships bring about an unexpected celebration. A fast moving story that both charms and disarms. The Midnight Mile is a vibrant tale with a surprise ending that will move the reader to tears.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Flood, Denis W.

Grumman F9F Panther/Cougar

Title: Grumman F9F Panther/Cougar
Author: Brad Elway
Genre: Non-Fiction, Reference
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1580071457

By the end of World War II, piston-powered fighters were at their absolute zenith. As good as those airplanes were, America's aviation industry found itself starting over in the Jet Age with new airplanes powered by anemic and somewhat cantankerous turbine engines. More importantly, just as these new aircraft were maturing, they were thrust into war in the skies over Korea. Grumman's first jets were potent aircraft in their own right, but also proved to be the building blocks from which two more famous Grumman 'cats' were born -- the supersonic F11F Tiger and swing-wing Mach 2 F-14 Tomcat.

Grumman F9F Panther/Cougar tells the story of the pivotal F9F Panther from its initial concept through early design and manufacturing, flight test, aircraft carrier trials, and combat operations in the Korean War. Completing this story is coverage of the more advanced swept-wing transonic Cougar that goes on to become an effective trainer and photo-recon aircraft as well. Detailed appendices provide the reader with complete data on F9F production numbers, carrier deployments, and squadron histories.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Elward, Brad

Forty Missions and Home

Title: Forty Missions and Home
Author: Maurice "Vic" Duvic and Lisa Uzzle Hadden
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1605940461

It was a gutless, unprovoked attack on the United States and all it stood for. The hatred shattered the early morning calm and moved a nation from a time of peace to years of war and hardship. It prompted young men to offer their service, and many their lives, to defend their country and everything it stood for. It was a time of great uncertainty and fear. It was the original "day that will live in infamy."

Maurice "Vic" Duvic remembers it well. He lived it. He was twenty-two years old, standing on a Florida beach with his buddies the first time he heard the words "Pearl Harbor." He had no idea what those words would come to mean, but the uniform he wore assured him he would get a front row seat.

He went on to become a pilot in the Army Air Corps, traveled across the world and became a part of the Allied forces that would prove too much for Italy and Germany. While the words "Pearl Harbor" had a life-changing meaning for him, there was a number that would prove to be even more important: forty.

That was the number of combat missions he had to complete before he could get back home. While that sounds simple enough, he learned there is much truth to the saying, "It's not about the destination, but the journey." And what a journey it was.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Duvic, Maurice "Vic"
Hadden, Lisa Uzzle

Inherited Freedom: A grandson's reflection on World War II through his grandfathers' experiences, and the translation of their service to the ... responsibilities of later generations

Title: Inherited Freedom: A grandson's reflection on World War II through his grandfathers' experiences, and the translation of their service to the ... responsibilities of later generations
Author: Tim Drake
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1438958919

A grandson's reflection on World War II through his grandfather's experiences, and the translation of their service to the privileges and ultimate responsibilities of later generations.

My reason for writing this book is multifaceted. First, it is a contemplative look back into a distinctive time in America's history through the lives of my two grandfathers, Maurice Elmer Drake and Archibald Vance Houston; and an examination of their service to our great country during World War II. My life intersected these two men as a result of my parent's loving choice to adopt me as their son at the time of my birth. Second, it is a critical look into our present situation as a nation, as compared to and contrasted with our past, which I undertook with a burning desire due to the personal impact of my grandfathers' service. Lastly, this book is a consideration of the future of this great country as it lies in the hands of my generation and outlines our responsibilities: to protect it and to provide our descendants with the inherited freedom that was earned in blood by the Greatest Generation over sixty years ago. Please visit for more information.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Drake, Tim

Cold Winter's Kill

Title: Cold Winter's Kill
Author: Bob Doerr
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Reviewer: Kathy Rodgers

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1590957628

A fast paced thriller that takes place in the scenic mountains of Lincoln County, New Mexico. It was one of those phone calls former Air Force Special Agent Jim West never wanted to receive -- an old friend calling to ask if West could drive down to Ruidoso to help locate his daughter who has disappeared while on a ski trip with friends. Jim found himself heading to Ruidoso even though he believed, much like the local authorities, that if she had gone missing in the mountains in December, her chances for survival were slim. He didn't want to be there when they found her but still he drove on.

Once in Ruidoso, Jim discovers a sinister coincidence that changes everything. It appears that someone is abducting and killing one young blonde every year around Christmas. The race is on -- can Jim locate his friend's daughter on time? Jim can't wait for the local authorities to raise the priority of their search, or for the pending blizzard to pass. In his haste he puts himself in the killer's sights. Will he, too, suffer from a cold winter's kill?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Doerr, Bob