REVIEWED BY LINDA WICKLUND
think I'll start with an interesting bit of
information from the author. In the Author's
Note he reveals that many years ago he heard a
story about two prominent business men in
Mississippi in the 1930's. "One killed the
other for no discernible reason" and the killer
would never reveal the reason for the murder.
"And so, I stole this story" states the author.
enjoy a mystery in which you don't know the why or
who of the story to the very end. This is the book
for you. And, if you are interested in books
about World War II and in particular the war in
the Philippines including the Bataan Death March.
This is the book for you.
begins in 1946, when Pete Banning wakes with the
reality that "it was time for the killing." Pete
you'll learn is a decorated World War II hero with
severe leg wounds to prove it. He believes to
avoid the killing would be an act of cowardice...
So when Pete walked into the Methodist church, he
was a soldier on a mission. Who commits a shocking
follows in Part I is the aftermath of his deed and
his refusal to offer any kind of an explanation or
justification for his act. He simply states - "I
have nothing to say." Sadly, this is what he also
tells his beloved family, friends, and his
goes back in time to 1925, when Pete was
twenty-two years old and had just graduated from
West Point. He is invited to attend a debutante
ball and is a very handsome young man in his
formal army dress whites. It's here he meets the
most beautiful girl in the room Liza Sweeney.
Pete is "thoroughly smitten" and the courtship
began. They were married the year they met.
when President Roosevelt announced a complete oil
embargo on Japan, war seemed imminent. Pete as a
reservist received his orders in September of
1941. Pete's assignment sent him to the
Philippines and the "timing couldn't have been
this point the author goes into a lengthy
description of General MacArthur's handling of
the American forces who were confined to the
peninsula. During The Battle of Bataan the
Americans and Filipinos fought valiantly with
little food and non-existant reinforcements, while
the Japanese had an endless supply of men,
armaments and provisions.
so much about the incredible bravery and sacrifice
that thousands of American and Filipino soldiers
endured not only on the Bataan Death March, but in
the prisoner of war camps "where the worst was
yet to come." The cruelty inflicted on these men
is beyond belief. In the final part of the story,
Pete's children are left to deal with many legal
issues as well as trying to help their Mother
recover from her bouts of severe depression. They
have more questions then answers about their
Father's crime. When at the very end of the book
they finally learn the "truth". Joel (Pete's son)
wishes he was "blissfully ignorant" since one lie
changed the course of so many lives with terrible
this is a fictional story, "the suffering and
heroism of those soldiers is difficultto imagine."
A quote from John Grisham.