Friday, June 25, 2010
I have a book review to post today. Awhile back, I got an email from the publisher asking me if I was interested in reading two of their books. I'm not too big on doing giveaways or reviewing products I have no use for, but free books and writing book reviews are definitely interesting to me. So, I said yes, and received them in the mail a couple weeks ago. This one, In the Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson, is the first of the two. I'm still reading the second book, but will post about it when I'm done.
In the Name of Honor is a book you would probably find on the mystery shelves. In truth, it isn't a genre I'm typically into. I've read my share of Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books as a kid, but as an adult, I tend to only read mystery novels if someone has recommended one to me. The premise of this one intrigued me, however, and I'm glad I gave it a chance.
Set during the early years of the Iraq war, the book begins with Captain Paul Terry, a JAG lawyer who has excelled in the army, and is a month shy of getting out and beginning a new career with a law firm in New York City. He's called in to defend Lieutenant Brian McCarran, a soldier who has served a tour in Iraq. McCarran is accused of shooting Captain Joe D'Abruzzo, a man who had not only been his commanding officer in Iraq, but is also married to a woman who Brian considers his sister because of the closeness of their two families growing up. Brian McCarran's father is one of the army's most distinguished generals, further complicating the situation. So begins a story of family secrets and what war does to not only those who go, but those who are left behind.
I am, quite frankly, a sucker for skeleton-in-the-closet kinds of stories, and this was definitely one of those. The main shocker at the end was actually not much of a shocker because I'd guessed fairly quickly what it was. I did, however, eagerly await the resolution of it because it was so intriguing. A huge chunk of this book focuses on the trial, which I found a little tedious to read at times, but I know this is partly because I was trying not to skip to the end and find out what happened. I'm also not too into trial books in general, so if you enjoy that, you will probably like it better than I did.
In truth, though, the part of this book that affected me most was not the family issues and all the drama surrounding that. It was the story of PTSD and what Iraq did to these soldiers that held my attention. I've always been a bit of a war buff, reading up on the Civil War and World War II quite avidly as a teenager, but this war is personal in a way those historical accounts never were. My own husband has not had to head to the sandbox, but we know people who have gone, and I am acutely aware that as long as he's in the military, it will be on the table in some way. My biggest fear has always been not that he would die if he has to go, but that he would come home someone different and there would be no resolution for us.
Reading about these soldiers in Iraq drove that fear home, and it also reminded me anew of what sacrifices those who have served in these wars have given. I wish everyone could read the chapters that deal with this issue. I actually think this book would make for a great Book Club read because of all the different issues it addresses. I wish I still belonged to one and could offer it up as a suggestion!