Barinelli's War

Title: Barinelli's War
Author: Eugene Basilici
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595385826

The Korean War rages in Southeast Asia. Every night the North Koreans hurl themselves against the outnumbered Americans who hold the Pusan Perimeter, and every night the overextended defenders are thinned even more.

Into this maelstrom lands Rick Barinelli, a teenager fresh out of Basic and is thrown immediately onto the front line. A natural leader with an innate understanding of combat, he’s able to command and hold the all-important “Bowling Alley” sector. Barinelli’s successes on the battlefield earn him quick promotions.

The Inchon landing relieves the pressure on Pusan and Barinelli’s platoon takes the point for an American offensive. At Hungnam, they’re ordered to the rear and reorganized as a reconnaissance company, while the Army’s Tenth Corps and First Marine Division advance to the Chinese border.

But a quarter-million Chinese secretly infiltrate the mountain passes and surround the Americans with orders to annihilate them all. The only escape route is along a narrow road past the Chosin Reservoir through the Funchilin Pass to Hungnam and safety. The Funchilin must be held. But when Barinelli’s company commander suddenly disappears, the survival of over twenty thousand men falls on him.

With fewer than two hundred men under his command, Barinelli faces the pressures of leadership in battle. More importantly, he learns of faithlessness and heroism and the inner gauntlet each soldier must pass through to survive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Basilici, Eugune

Spur & The Sash: Middle Tennessee, 1865: A Novel, The

Title: The Spur & The Sash: Middle Tennessee, 1865: A Novel
Author: Robert Grede
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 159598092X

The Spur & The Sash is about a real person. Sergeant George Van Norman, a Yankee, was wounded in one of the last battles of the American Civil War, at Nashville. Left behind to recover when the armies marched on, he was ordered to guard a local plantation from January to July, 1865, where he fell in love with the owner's daughter. That much is fact. The story begins with his wounding at the battle, follows him to the plantation where he meets the woman, her family, and the former slaves who have been emancipated but have no place to go. George befriends a former Confederate soldier and, together, they overcome carpetbaggers, deserters from both sides, mobs of wandering blacks, and bushwhackers marauding throughout Middle Tennessee, including precursors of the Ku Klux Klan. Meticulously researched using letters, diaries, and official records, this is a story of passion and betrayal amid the anarchy of postwar Tennessee. George left behind a spur and a sash, passed down through the generations to the author, his great-great-grandson, along with the story of how he came to have them. This is that story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Grede, Robert

Finding Nuggets of Truth as a Military Writer

by Ann DeWitt

What if you studied a particular military General from the American Civil War era and found that the court of public opinion handed down a verdict without reviewing all of the evidence?  Would you ignore the facts and go with the court of public opinion?  Or would you print in your book the dormant facts in which you uncovered?


Author: Joyce Faulkner
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 9780983493020

Identity theft, scams, and a serial killer. Username is a must-read for every person who has a credit card or uses the Internet. Who’s using your name? Your username? You may not know until it’s too late. See yourself as a mark through the eyes of Maureen and Jennifer, master identity thieves. Their scams will shock you as you realize how vulnerable you are. Then there is the nice gentleman you could meet in a chat room, or perhaps he sends you a persuasive e-mail. He couldn’t possibly be a serial killer … could he?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Faulkner, Joyce

Dying of Mortimer Post, The

Title: The Dying of Mortimer Post
Author: Barry Ozeroff
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Richard Barone

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1603182020

A tortured soul spends a lifetime struggling to make sense of a senseless world...

Mortimer Post is the quintessential product of late 1960's America. A college-bound physics major from a good family, he is engaged to his high-school sweetheart and is at the forefront of the American dream. That is, until twelve short minutes mark the end of his living and the beginning of his dying. But some deaths are slower than others, and Mortimer's takes a lifetime to complete.

Spanning four of America's most significant decades, The Dying of Mortimer Post takes the reader from the protagonist's coming of age in the Pocono Mountains to the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. After the searing end of his military career, the reader accompanies Mortimer on a nationwide quest for understanding and healing. On this journey of discovery, he finds both happiness and sorrow in the backwoods of rural Mississippi, then a much darker side of himself on the unforgiving streets of Los Angeles. Only when he has lost everything and is finally ready for the release of death, does Mortimer discover he already has the one thing he's spent a lifetime seeking, and with it, the chance to finally live again.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ozeroff, Barry