Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden

Title: Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden
Author Marious Tecoanta & Nate Brookshire
Genre: Literary Fiction
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1934266221

April 13, 1945...The last days of WWII...Eight lone German soldiers surrendered. Instead of a POW camp, their steps took them into a shallow grave. John Dougall, an 18-year-old American soldier, stood by as the murderous shots were fired. Laying there among the dead was Rudolph Haas, an officer whose death would burden John for a lifetime.

John sought redemption in the rugged hills of Korea and in the swamps of Vietnam. Chaining him to remorse and guilt were the private thoughts of Haas, written carefully into the diary that John had taken from the German's body.

Six decades later, fate gave John one last chance to set things right and make peace with his past.

This is the story of two soldiers robbed of their happiness, yet both clinging fiercely to their honor; and the stories of their wives, as strong in heart as any warrior.

The journey takes our heroes from the safety of South Carolina to the battlefields of Europe and from the frozen Siberian Gulag to the gothic cities of Bavaria. The secrets of the Journal connect them all and, unbeknownst to John, spark a love that heals their hidden wounds.

Why Hidden Wounds? This story started coming together in the spring of 2004 when two Officer Candidates decided to write a book about an American and a German soldier whose lives and families become intertwined on the battlefield in the last stages of WWII.

Action and inaction has a generational impact as the main character reflects on his choices and deals with the guilt of participating in a war crime. Is it too late at the age of 84 to make things right?

The story has evolved into a discussion of PTSD, addiction, suicide awareness / prevention and forgiveness. Please join us in the journey...

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Tecoanta, Marius & Brookshire, Nate

The Edge of Freedom

Title: The Edge of Freedom
Author: John Willingham
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: John R. r. Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1592994466

The Alamo resounds in memory and myth...Goliad whispers from the shadows. Along with the familiar stories of Jim Bowie, David Crockett, and William B. Travis-the heroes of the Alamo-it is time, in the 175th anniversary year of the Revolution, to understand the more complex stories of James W. Fannin and his Mexican counterpart, José de Urrea. In The Edge of Freedom, these and other historical figures show that the search for peace at Goliad was as dramatic as the fight for glory at the Alamo.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Willingham, John

Another Colorado Kill

Title: Another Colorado Kill
Author: Bob Doerr
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1590957857

Another Colorado Kill is the fourth book in the Jim West mystery/thriller series. In this fast paced story, Jim and friend Edward “Perry” Mason are in route to Colorado Springs to play some golf when they discover a dead body, an apparent murder victim, at a rest stop along the interstate highway. Perry’s stress levels hit the max during the subsequent police interview. He has a heart attack and the golf outing falls apart.

When the police find two more murder victims the next day, both killed with the same weapon that killed the victim whom West had discovered the day before, and the female victim has his name written on a notepad in her purse, their focus on West intensifies. West explains that by chance both the female victim and he had eaten at the same restaurant, but at separate tables, the night before. She had been with two men at the restaurant and had left before he had a chance to talk to her. They had met a few times in the past, but weren’t close. A Sheriff’s deputy, Lieutenant Michelle Prado befriends West, and the two work together in an effort to find the real murderer. As their relationship develops, West finds himself physically attracted to her, but does she feel the same way?

Soon an attempt is made on Jim’s life and he realizes that for some reason the killer, like the police, believes that West knows more about the killings than he has admitted. Jim finds himself playing “cat and mouse” with the killer while trying to convince the police that their focus on him is a waste of time and resources.

When the FBI moves in to help out, the pressure to solve the case mounts. West and Lieutenant Prado discover the local murders may be connected to a larger, nationwide FBI investigation into organized crime and political corruption. West finally has permission to go home to Clovis and is about to leave when the killer shoots Ollie, a young female Deputy whom had become friends with West. The killer leaves her to die on a dirt road. The killer had gone too far. As Michelle leaves with Ollie’s crumpled body in her back seat, West picks up Ollie’s issued 9mm and heads off into the woods to track the killer. The time had come to stop the killings. If he can catch up with the killer, only one of them will return alive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Doerr, Bob

Latin Blues: A Tale of Police Omerta

Title: Latin Blues: A Tale of Police Omerta
Author: Joe Sanchez & Mo Dhania
Genre: Literary Fiction
Reviewer: Bob Flournoy

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1601790007

We don't talk about it. That's what the veteran policeman from Brooklyn’s 92nd Precinct, a good and honest cop, told his rookie partner one day. We don t get mixed up in it not the graft, not the shakedowns, not the abuse, not the endless turf battles among higher-ups. We deal with these things however we can. But we don't talk about it. One day, a good cop dies and, talk about it or not, his comrades know they have to do something about it. A tale of what went on behind the New York s Blue Wall in the roaring 70 s... Let the f**ks kill each other. That was the credo of Captain Maximilian Leopold, of Brooklyn’s 92nd precinct. But even Joe Picon, the rookie cop, knew the f**ks didn’t always kill other f**cks. When the f**ks began to converge the Jimenez Gang, the Brass Knuckle Rapist, Skinhead Ramos, turf-hungry bureaucrats, bean-counting number crunchers, and the lust-crazed Captain himself the victim who died wasn't a f**k at all. He was a good cop from another precinct, and he had been blindsided by another credo even good cops follow: We don't talk about it.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Sanchez, Joe & Dhania, Mo

Jugs & Bottles

Title: Jugs & Bottles
Author: Nelson O. Ottenhausen
Genre: Thriller Mystery
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0979164257

Jami Unice Gamble, a woman deaf since birth, is targeted for murder after witnessing a Mafia style killing and identifying the two killers to the police. She, along with her hearing aid dog Bottles, becomes involved in a story of romance, chaos and murder by organized crime as the Morgan brothers, a contracted two-man hit team, tries to kill her.

The brothers, Vinnie and Bennie Morgan, are petty crooks and amateurs at trying to commit murder, having never killed anyone before. They make several bungled attempts on Jami’s life and get themselves into a series of comedic situations. Jami’s dog Bottles tries to befriend the criminal duo each time he meets them, but fear of the dog and the brothers’ reactions in trying to avoid him only causes them no end of embarrassing moments. The ongoing encounters between the dog and the brothers are oblivious to Jami because of her deafness.

Lt. Randall Casey, a handsome police officer, is the only one in the police department who can communicate with their key witness to the mob style execution. He takes on the responsibility to protect Jami and soon begins a romance with her. His twelve-year-old son Joey is also deaf, and he too likes the woman and her dog, forming an immediate bond with both of them.

During a failed attempt to kill Jami, the Morgan brothers end up in the hospital and another Mafia mobster tries to fulfill the murder contract in order to meet a deadline ordered by mob bosses. He too fails because Bottles goes through an instant metamorphic personality transformation from a docile and gentle pet into a primeval attack animal, killing the assailant in a necessary act to save the members of his adopted pack.

After the death of the assailant, Lt. Casey and members of the police department wonder how to keep Jami safe from the Mafia in the long term, but an unknown ally solves the problem and for a reason that will never be known by the police.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ottenhausen, Nelson O.