Fade to Black
Author: Jeffrey Wilson
Publisher: JournalStone (2013)
Binding: Paperback, 256 pages
Jack is a dedicated high school teacher. His Biology students love him. Life at home couldn’t be better. He has a loving and beautiful wife. He adores his toddler daughter. Jack is happy, content, fulfilled.
Then he has a nightmare. In the dream, he is a US Marine sergeant named Casey. Casey and his team are in the middle of a firefight in Falujah, cut off from their platoon. The smells, the sounds, the feels of combat in the desert are so real, real, too, is the feel of Casey being wounded.
Bullets striking Casey rip Jack from sleep screaming. For a moment, he struggles to understand that he is in his bedroom, that it is his wife, Pam, worrying about what has happened to him.
Fade to Black is a psychological thriller. The reader follows Jack from a gripping beginning through sustained tension of recurrent nightmares. Pam is worried sick about her husband. Jack questions his sanity.
At the end, the tale settles to earth like a Blackhawk with an experienced pilot on the controls. The reader is left with two thoughts:
The combat scenes are drawn by a been-there-done-that artist.
The story is woven by an author who has a special understanding of the workings of the mind and heart.
Reviewed by: Jack Zerr (2014)
Jack is a young man caught between two terrifying worlds. In one, he is Marine Sergeant Casey Stillmam, locked in combat in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq. He is lying next to his dead and dying friends, bleeding in the street - until he wakes up at home, in bed with his wife. In this other world, Jack is a high school science teacher, husband, and devoted father to his little girl. But the nightmares of war continue to haunt him, and to Jack/Casey they feel in many ways more real than his life at home with his family.
When news of killed Marines in Fallujah surface, Jack realizes he knows far more about these men then he should. But, when the dead Marines begin visiting him while he is awake-he realizes he is in serious trouble. Faced with the possibility of losing his mind, or far worse, the nightmares being real, Jack knows he must somehow find a way to bridge the two realities and fight his way back from the nightmares to save his wife and little girl.