In Green Sleep: A Tour of Duty
Author: Jerry Ackerman
Publisher: iUniverse.com (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 324 pages
It is the late 1960s. Cold war tensions and the Vietnam conflict dominate the media. John Bluderin, a drafted, dejected nineteen-year-old army specialist, has been assigned to military intelligence in Germany. Fluent in German and absorbed into the social fabric of Schwäbisch Gmünd, no one would ever suspect him of doing anything out of the ordinary. Specialist Bluderin is about to prove everyone wrong.
As John begins his first assignment, he meets Leda Beschwörung, a petite, dedicated agent able to jump twenty yards at a clip and infiltrate the enemy seamlessly. Leda, a practitioner of Gestalt psychology, makes Bluderin feel worthy again and becomes the catalyst in his coming-of-age journey, changing his life forever. Under Leda's diligent mentoring, Bluderin's perception of human nature sharpens. He soon encounters Günter Mann, a clairvoyant shepherd whose advice leads him to a Norwegian goddess. Solveig Evensen introduces him to a new world of emotional, intellectual, and erotic passion where both learn to transcend their past barriers. But it is Bluderin's final assignment that places his life on the edge of death.
In Green Sleep is an intriguing tale of a young soldier's experiences while assigned to a military intelligence unit in West Germany during the late 1960's. In this fast moving story, John Bluderin, our main character, is confronted by the challenge of trying to decipher what is true and what is not in both his personal and work environments. Faced with an increasingly deceptive world, where good and evil blend too close together, Bluderon soon sees his own survival in doubt. The author adroitly leads him through a series of relationships with strange and unique individuals, some whose motives are to help him, some to hurt him. Bluderin struggles to reach his goal of simply surviving until his separation from the military. Can he really count on the other soldiers working with him, or is there someone on the inside that is betraying him? Sorry, but you'll have to read the book to find out.
This is a book about a young man's coming to age, as much as it is a thriller. The author has selected an idyllic German setting for the story which, in my opinion, adds significantly to it. I think anyone like me, who has lived in Germany in the U.S. military, or as a civilian, will enjoy the author's description of the small towns and the German countryside.
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (2011)