06 October 2011

Thunder In The Morning Calm, Book review

Book description:

Lieutenant Commander “Gunner” McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps.
As it happens, Gunner’s grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather. Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying.

 My review:

Reviewing Don Brown's latest fictional suspense on this blog was a conscious choice!
As a toddler growing up during Allied occupation, I reenacted la 'Vielle Kwai' or River Kwai by covering my head with a 'gant de toilette" (washcloth) and sliding across the tub as commandos do...William Holden had nothing on me! I just could not pronounce  the R in 'Riviere, and called it 'Vielle' Kwai! 
Beware Parents of what you children perceives in their early years!

Seriously, Alistair MacLean was also a favourite during my teenagers years and 'Five years to Freedom', a loan from my sibling, was one of the first books I read in English! An incredible true story of the survival of an American  POW who despite countless atrocities never lost his faith, this book is one of my favourite!

'Thunder in the Morning Calm' is a Christian novel about American POWs, captured at Chosin reservoir and possibly detained in North Korea. 
Written by none other than the eloquent Don Brown ( ex USN-JAG), this is a story of duty and bravery but also filial love for one USN officer who risks everything to find out the truth behind the rumoured reports that elderly American POWs are still detained beyond the DMZ lines. 

Captured some 60 years ago these men have endured daily deprivation and unimaginable torture at the hands of their cruel adversaries awaiting their rescue. No Marine is left behind! 
But it is also the story of unsung heroes, the nameless Christians who work tirelessly to help others escape tyranny and keep faith alive in the most dangerous environment on earth, one riddled with countless danger, called the DPRK, or the land of Morning Calm! 

'All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'
(E.  Burke)

Growing up as I did in a military family, I have always known that soldiers, Marines or others, believe no man should be left behind, dead or alive. POWs remain to date a controversial dilemma for many nations as politics requires a delicate hand in uncovering the truth. 
Nevertheless, this particular subject has always been close to my heart and like many in the seventies, I wore a bracelet to remind me of the USAF pilot who in the course of duty, went MIA over Vietnam. His remains were later found and are resting now in his homeland.
From the battlefields of WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and Afghanistan there is an alarming number of MIA servicemen whose fate is still unknown, too many families who are left wondering!
(National Alliance of POW/MIA Families see web site here)

Don Brown brings the readers the very possibility that these rumours are well founded and in his unmistakable flair, weaves a daring story of rescue based on his military background. 
There is a part of me that feels always a pull for such subject and I cannot deny I wish with all my heart such discovery and the ultimate climax could only be true! 
An amazingly detailed plot which true to form, will leave you holding your breath until its climax.

Let me add I give it 4 stars (the subject is well worth 5 stars but the editing made me revise my rating)!

Semper Fidelis!

For more on the Author:

Don Brown is the author of Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series and Black Sea Affair, a submarine thriller that predicted the 2008 shooting war between Russia and Georgia. Don served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, which gave him an exceptional vantage point into both the Navy and the inner workings of "inside-the-beltway" as an action officer assigned to the pentagon. He left active duty in 1992 to pursue private practice, but remained on inactive status through 1999, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
More here

I received this book free from ZONDERVAN as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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