- Copertina flessibile: 252 pagine
- Editore: AbbottPress (1 febbraio 2013)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1458208257
- ISBN-13: 978-1458208255
- Peso di spedizione: 249 g
Tarnished Hero (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 26 feb 2013
Jim Gilliam ran away from home just before his fourteenth birthday. He was a radio operator in the US Coast Guard and an army airborne combat physician assistant before his retirement in 2010. Gilliam lives with his wife in Warwick, New York. He is also the author of Point Deception.
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The summary of the novel as presented is solid: `In the early 1960's, Tim Kelly's Coast Guard career takes him to Galveston. Hoping to put his father's death at the hands of a union busting thug behind him. Kelly transfers to San Francisco where he meets Brenda Conrad and clashes with an overbearing and sadistic executive officer. Given a choice between courts martial and combat duty in Vietnam, he chooses Vietnam. After receiving the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in combat during an action where three of his friends are killed in action by our own Air Force. Kelly releases his rage in an Air Force officer's club, earning him a less than honorable discharge. Returning to the U.S. with the stigma of a less than honorable discharge, Kelly embarks on a new career as an undercover narcotics agent. After his rescue from the drug cartel when his cover is blown, he plans to marry Brenda, but before the wedding can take place Brenda and her best friend the daughter of the Governor of Texas are kidnapped and spirited to the cartel's secret island base off the coast of Yucatan.' Offering more would be considered spoilers.
The reason this reviewer keeps returning to the works of Jim Gilliam is his visceral style of writing. He manages to uncover secrets of those in control, finds ways of letting the public understand the vagaries of those in power, be they military, government or crime, an dat the same time he keeps his relationships between his main characters solid and realistic so that we can all identify with them. He is an outstanding writer and this book deserves a wider readership. Grady Harp, July 14
Kelly shouts the sixties mantra of "question authority" with the consequences-be-damned recklessness of a young man who will be true to his heart, even if it lands him into chaos. Indeed, trouble will stick to him like maggots to a dismembered body in Jim Gilliam's sweaty guns n' ammo action thriller "Tarnished Hero."
As a Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard, Kelly demonstrates his lack of respect for authority with extreme prejudice, enough to land him in a courts-martial. It is only with reference to his acts of bravery in Vietnam that his defenders are able to keep him out of prison.
That will not be good enough for his accusers who, in a wink toward the military-industrial complex, decide to splice this knowledge of his grace under pressure into an offer that he cannot refuse: Kelly can walk free after completing the dangerous mission of infiltrating and destroying a drug cartel, that of Rodolfo Guzman, the man who had always been like a father to him. At the same time, Kelly’s fiancée is in a coma after becoming collateral damage in a brutal combat between the Campechee and Sineloa drug cartel.
It is when Kelly accepts an open invitation to spend some time in Guzman's drug palace in Northern Mexico that his code of “trusting friends first" will force him to face not only the dilemma of a loyalty to be divided between Guzman and Dave Holt, but also of being thrust into a senseless and bloody border war that has more than a few parallels to the Vietnam conflict. As such, Gilliam's novel stands not only as a complex and intriguing "band of brothers" romp, but also as a reflection on the evils of unquestioned authority and corruption.
"Tarnished Hero" is abundant with colorful heroes and villains. The author is deft at offering them various poses on his good-guy to bad-guy continuum and he paces his quick narrative with enough twists and surprises to sustain interest. However, it is important to point out that this will be for most people a "guy" book, one that offers up the kind of violence and gore that its subject requires for credibility. Also, readers are warned that some female characters are portrayed as rather one-dimensional boy-toys, perhaps as a nod to that common stereotype of the era.
That being said, "Tarnished Hero" is a thriller that can more than holds its own as an engrossing entertainment for fans of the genre.
Jim Gilliam does a great job of balancing struggles and triumphs with a good since of timing. Excellent, vivid storytelling. I look forward to more books by this author. I highly recommend this book to anyone.