Books and Movies Reviews


On Jan. 17, 1972, during some of the darkest days of the Vietnam War, an American soldier walked out of the jungle and onto an isolated US Army firebase in the Central Highlands. The stranger had no identification, was in good health and otherwise seemed normal. But there was a problem. While the stranger said his name was Daniel Carson, he could remember almost nothing else. Quiet and reserved, he could not explain where he came from or why he had mysteriously shown up on Firebase Martha. Attempts by the base commander to confirm Daniel’s identity turned up even more odd details. Battalion reported that a soldier named Daniel Carson and fitting the description provided by the commander had been Killed In Action the week before. Who was Daniel? Was he a deserter? A faker? A lunatic? Or was he something altogether different? Was he a lucky charm or a savior sent to rescue the unfortunate soldiers on Firebase Martha? The answers to these questions are not revealed until 1976 when three survivors from the firebase meet after the war in a bar in Washington, D.C. and agree spontaneously to visit Daniel’s parents in nearby suburban Virginia. What they find shakes them to the core. Keith Yocum has worked as a reporter, editor and advertising director in the Boston area for the past 30 years. In the mid-1980s he started a chain of award-winning suburban Boston weekly newspapers and later worked at the Boston Globe in a variety of positions. He was born in California’s Mojave Desert and for many years lived overseas including the Panama Canal Zone and Western Australian. Currently he lives in Massachusetts.

Nice build-up of action that quickly blends into the plot. Frankly, I was very surpised that I enjoyed the excerpt as much as I did – I rarely enjoy war novels. Well done!

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The story is paced a little slow in the beginning; however it quickly picks up and the writing is excellent. Readers will relate to Mike and his feelings as a soldier. Why was Mike the only one to first see Daniel? It is a story about war, but I have the feeling that the main plot will revolve around Daniel?


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