Missing Sticks

Title: Missing Sticks
Author: J. M. Taylor
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Larry Purcell

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1879043009

Faces streaked with soot or burnt cork, over six thousand paratroopers and glidermen of the 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles jumped or crashed into the swamps, canals, hedgerows and villages of the Cotentin Peninsular of France sometime after midnight on the sixth day of June 1944.

Over four hundred C-47 Dakotas carried the Screaming Eagles through the darkness and into a thick cloud bank that night. One load of pathfinders crashed into the English Channel. Planes were seen to explode in midair. Others crashed and burned past all recognition, probably due to ground fire. Just before dawn, the initial glider serials slammed between the hedgerows, into trees and each other. Many planes safely delivered their troopers to their designated drop zones. However, come dawn eighteen planes, each carrying a stick of fifteen to twenty paratroopers, were missing.

As so often happened that night, many paratroopers found themselves alone. Some quickly banded together, others wandered for hours, evading Germans and capture. Some were all too quickly made casualties, either by the hard landing or German fire. Others were taken prisoner. Some of the real stories are even harder to fathom than the stories in Missing Sticks, a fictional account of a handful of those missing men, representative of those declared casualties in real life.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Taylor, J. M.

No Time for Ribbons

Title: No Time for Ribbons
Author: Craig Trebilcock
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 059549286X/

War-weary Army Sergeant Gus Warden mistakenly kills an Iraqi civilian on his final mission. Returning home to Texas, guilt-ridden and unable to turn off the war, Warden struggles to rejoin a society where he no longer fits. When his manipulative brigade commander uses the shooting to nominate Warden for the Silver Star, Warden is trapped between becoming a fraudulent war hero and betraying the wartime buddies who covered for his mistake.

This thought-provoking novel is built upon the post-war experiences of US Army troops who served in the Iraq War. This is the second installment in the One Weekend A Month Trilogy.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Trebilcock, Craig

Scottish Thistle, The

Title: The Scottish Thistle
Author: Cindy Vallar
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Historical
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1592797121

Loyalty and honor. A Highland warrior prizes both more than life, and when he swears his oath on the dirk, he must obey or die. Duncan Cameron heeds his chief's order without question, but discovers his wife-to-be is no fair maiden. Although women are no longer trained in the art of fighting, Rory MacGregor follows in the footsteps of her Celtic ancestors. Secrets from the past and superstitious folk endanger Rory and Duncan as much as Bonnie Prince Charlie and his uprising to win back the British throne for his father. Rory and Duncan must make difficult choices that pit honor and duty against trust and love.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Vallar, Cindy

Bear: Flight to Liberty

Title: Bear: Flight to Liberty
Author: Miguel Vargas-Caba
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595681670

In September 1976, Viktor Belenko defected to Japan in his MiG-25 Foxbat jet fighter, one of the most well-known defections from the Soviet block. But in that same year, there was another defection so embarrassing to the Soviets that its particulars remained a secret for more than twenty-five years. All media accounts of Soviet TU-95 flights participating in the Okean 76 naval maneuvers mention only two planes. Whenever they were confronted in private, however, the Soviets acknowledged that in reality, three planes took off from Russia, with the third aircraft crashing at sea, killing everyone aboard. Since it sank in deep waters, no one attempted to salvage the wreck. But what the Soviet authorities never acknowledged -publicly or privately- was that the third TU-95 made a bold and risky flight from the USSR to Canada. Because its crew defected, the Soviets never admitted that such an event happened. Bear: Flight to Liberty tells the third crew's thrilling story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Vargas-Caba, Miguel