Church skillfully draws readers into her meticulously researched and fast-paced tale with skillful worldbuilding that allows readers to practically smell the gunpowder as dangerous battles rage. Her able plotting will encourage readers to overlook the occasional small error. The author also does a masterful job of exploring moral shades of gray in her characters, avoiding making any of them one-dimensional and encouraging readers to examine their own beliefs about right and wrong.
This novel can be appreciated as a standalone story, but readers will get more enjoyment from reading the whole quartet in order, as several subplots are continued from the first two installments and the suspenseful ending suggests more intrigue to come. Ideal for fans of wartime stories and sweeping family sagas, this taut tale delivers a heady mix of intrigue and history that will keep readers on the edges of their seats.
Takeaway: This wartime thrill ride turns the waning days of the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam into a pulse-pounding, smart tale of suspense.
Great for fans of Ellen Emerson White’s The Road Home, Ron Kovic’s Born on the Fourth of July.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: B