Military Writers Society of America Review
This installment of the Jackson MacKenzie series focuses on the ordeals of one of its principal characters, Army Major Harry Russell after he suffers a debilitating combat injury in Vietnam. While struggling to recover from the loss of his left foot, Harry also takes on the challenge of helping his hero and mentor – Lieutenant Colonel Jackson MacKenzie USMC, falsely charged with treason.
The book is a flashback that fills in the backstory for one of the MacKenzie series supporting characters, Major Harry Russell. The period setting is the waning days of US engagement in the Vietnam War. Russell's opening challenge is the aftermath of a crippling combat injury. He is initially overwhelmed by the physical and mental trials of the loss of his left foot. The pain and setbacks of his long recovery are complicated by bouts of self-doubt and the abrupt end of his promising Army career.
Russell's personal trials are soon eclipsed when he finds out that his hero and mentor, Lt.Col. Jackson MacKenzie USMC, has been imprisoned with the members of his Special Ops team on trumped-up charges of treason. His efforts to contact MacKenzie are met with covert deterrents by government officials trying to sustain their cover-up.
A happy ending for all of the characters—except, of course, the bad actors—sets the stage for follow-on books in the series.
Review by Peter Young (May 2022)