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.

Northrop's Night Hunter: P-61 Black Widow

Title: Northrop's Night Hunter: P-61 Black Widow
Author: Jeff Kolln
Genre: Non-Fiction, Reference
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1580071228

World War II changed the face of warfare forever. Now enemies were fighting and flying all night, which mandated that a fighter be developed that could carry a new technological invention aloft radar. Guided by ground stations toward the target, the P-61 would acquire an enemy aircraft with its on-board radar and close for the kill.

Northrop's Night Hunter covers the development history of the P-61 Black Widow and the radar built specifically for its use. The P-61 was the most successful Allied night fighter of the war, and flew combat in the China-Burma-India, European, and Pacific theaters of the war. This book details the aircraft's offensive and defensive systems, its operations, and covers its unique uses from missile testing to flights by the U.S. Navy.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kolln, Jeff

My Blissful Life As a Submariner's Wife

Title: My Blissful Life As a Submariner's Wife
Author: MJ Allaire
Genre: Fiction, Military, Navy
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0981936806

Imagine yourself as a young mother, half the world away from loved ones as a military dependent, then compound this with the much larger challenge of raising a family by yourself because your military spouse is always gone. No amount of money can replace when an active duty military member misses some of life's major milestones, such as the birth of a child, a baby's first steps, or a high school graduation.

Follow one woman as she struggles to provide balance and stability to her dependent children while her husband serves his country. Her trials and tribulations will provide insight to just a few of the challenges faced by today's military family.

Think you understand the life of a military dependent?

Think again . . .

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Allaire, MJ

Murder on the Cocktail Circuit

Title: Murder on the Cocktail Circuit
Author: Charles Gibb
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Mike Mullins

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595094651

Navy SEAL Commander Scotty Ferguson, who received the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, is sent covertly to the Flagship of the Sixth Fleet on the pretense of protecting the ship and admiral. His real orders are to be available to the President, on a moment's notice, to enter Libya and locate an atomic bomb factory that has the capability to place the bomb inside a laptop computer. He is assisted by the lovely CIA agent Alexandra Thorton.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gibb, Charles

Moryak: A Novel of the Russian Revolution

Title: Moryak: A Novel of the Russian Revolution
Author: Lee Mandel
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: John R. R. Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1440141509

President Theodore Roosevelt learns that it is the intention of Russian Tsar Nicholas II to sabotage the Portsmouth Peace Conference in 1905. In response, he sends Lieutenant Stephen Morrison on a top secret mission with British agent Sidney Reilly to kidnap the Tsar and remove him from Russia. Morrison, a complex man, who was born in Russia, is also fluent in the language and is knowledgeable in Russian political affairs.
The mission goes awry when Morrison is captured and later sentenced to death. Through a twist of fate, he assumes the identity of the leader of the infamous Potemkin mutiny and is sent to the Imperial Labor Camp on Solovetsky Island. Due to his fearless and violent nature, he catches the attention of the Bolshevik prisoners and becomes known as "Moryak" (Russian for Sailor). Upon his release from ten years in prison, Morrison is invited to join the Bolsheviks. Soon, he is able to infiltrate Lenin's inner circle working as a spy for the Allies during the Great War. Morrison's long and complex mission comes to a harrowing conclusion on the eve of the Russian civil war.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Mandel, Lee

Gunships: The Story of Spooky, Shadow, Stinger and Spectre

Title: Gunships: The Story of Spooky, Shadow, Stinger and Spectre
Author: Wayne Mutza
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1580071236

Gunships: The Story of Spooky, Shadow, Stinger and Spectre tells the dramatic story of transforming military cargo transports into deadly ground-attack aircraft used by the U.S. and other countries in worldwide conflicts from the Vietnam War to the Middle East today. This comprehensive and detailed accounting of gunships begins with piston-powered, WWII-era C-47s and progresses to the four-engine turboprop C-130 Hercules, showing how gunships evolved from using 20mm miniguns to 105mm Howitzers with digital-age Battle Management Centers housed onboard. These highly effective airplanes made history by removing the safe haven of night operations from the enemy, and allowing strategic victory that might not have otherwise been possible.
Author Wayne Mutza not only carefully researched all of these aircraft and their paths to reality, but also tells the tale of the brave and persevering men who believed in this unique weapon system and who saw its development through to the end. This book features a wealth of outstanding color photographs, many of which have never before been published, and also contains detailed appendices documenting gunship production data, combat units, and aircraft losses.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Mutza, Wayne