Thursday, August 20, 2009

Read: "Trial by Fire" by James Reasoner

Read: Trial by Fire by James Reasoner, 2002, 0312873468.

The second book in Reasoner's Last Good War series. If the third book is like this one I know why a fourth book was never requested by the publisher. This one just kind of dragged along and runs 445 pages. I have the third one at home and may as well try it. If it drags too much I'll bail on it since I assume there will not be much of a resolution in the end.

Dale and Joe are training British tankers in England for the U.S. Army and then sent to Egypt. Adam is a Marine on Wake Island. Adam's wife Catherine is a Navy nurse in Pearl Harbor and then on a hospital ship. Adam gets sent to San Diego and becomes an officer. Secondary characters live and die while fighting at Wake, Coral Sea, and Midway. Dale sneaks out on a mission to the Egyptian desert. Joe meets a Brit intelligence officer. Both are obviously intended to join up with the LRDG or SAS.

The first in the series was a neat look at pre-war life in Chicago and the political and military build up to war. This had a lot of slow parts and lacked the insight of that first book. The storyline about Wake Island was neat. Reasoner keeps Adam on Wake all through the defensive preparations by the Army and the first attacks by the Japs. Dale and Joe barely seem to make it into the story.

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