Pass in Review: Country by Brian Utermahlen

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

A fascinating novel that reveals tenacious dedication to country in the midst of personal and political chaos during the Vietnam War. Excellent development of characters and places, written by a West Point graduate and Vietnam Combat Veteran.  The author does a splendid job of mixing the complex Vietnam War era issues together, both at war and home, to create a page turning stew.  He craftily ties in three generations of family military service to America with romances lost and found due to circumstances faced.  This third book in the author's series gives the impression you are "there" -  whether in a Senate hearing chaired by a powerful tyrant, in a violent fire-fight, or with family and loved ones during the socially conflicting 70's.  Scenes written were deeply believable ... and, as the author admits, were meant to mesh fact and fiction together.  An excellent, highly recommended read for anyone desiring a view of American history on a touching level!

Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2015)

Author's Synopsis

Two brothers - one a helicopter pilot, the other an infantry soldier - and a gutsy, dedicated nurse bring to life the real story of Vietnam that the news media, protestors, politicians and the public never saw or understood.

COUNTRY takes you into the cockpit of the workhorse Huey helicopter to fly with Brad Nolan on combat assaults into hot Landing Zones, medical evacuations and night fire support missions.

COUNTRY puts you on combat patrol with Glenn Nolan, on an American firebase being overrun and in the middle of firefights with North Vietnamese regulars in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia.

And COUNTRY also puts you inside the trauma-laden operating rooms of American Surgical hospitals with Jenny Kolarik and her nurses as they fight for the life of every wounded soldier.

Pass in Review - COUNTRY is the third and final book of a three generational saga about the Nolans, a twentieth century military family. This is the story of a family, a nation, an Army and the institution of West Point struggling with challenges to the concept of Duty-Honor-Country during the Vietnam era.

Throughout this series, the fictional Nolan family interacts with actual historical characters including Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Charles Lindbergh, FDR, Winston Churchill, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, and many others.

Book 1 (DUTY) is about the patriarch - Dave Nolan and covers the period from just before America's entry into World War I until the late 1930s. Pass in Review - DUTY won the 2012 Military Writers Society of America Bronze Award for best Historical Fiction.

Book 2 (HONOR) continues where DUTY left off. The book chronicles the story of both Dave Nolan and his son, Mitch, who is a fighter pilot in Europe during WWII. HONOR received the 2013 Military Writers Society Silver Award for Historical Fiction.

The final book of this trilogy brings to conclusion this saga and finally reconciles many of the personal and professional issues of family and service to country begun in the very first chapter of DUTY. Yet questions still linger about the future of the family, the country and the Academy.

Read the series and enjoy the ride.