Matthew 14:6

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matthew 24:6 KJV

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Review: LUZON

Today I am featuring 
by Richard Whitten Barnes 

About Luzon:

America has broken Japan’s “Purple” code, and a captured US Navy officer knows the secret. Someone has to make sure the Japanese don’t get it from him, even if he has to kill him.

Click Here to watch a short video trailer for LUZON. 

Here's a short excerpt:

 Daniel could see the luminous hands of his watch--almost on the hour. Emilio and Vicente were expert at keeping the boat stable in the worsening sea, the rest of them holding to the gunnels. He’d been signaling out to sea every sixty seconds, as close as he could guess, and again removed the flashlight from where he’d tucked it in his life vest. This time he left the light on longer, waving it right to left.
  “I saw something reflected by the light!” Vicente shouted.
  “I did too. I think it’s the sub’s periscope!” Emilio said.
  They began to paddle hard to the east.
  They’d gone a short distance when a blinding light caught and held them for an instant. Then, it was gone, but now they could hear the sound of an engine revving to high speed.
  Daniel thought first of their charge. “Major! Over the side!”
  “He’s right! You have to hide!” Riza shrilled.
  They literally picked the man up and dumped him in the sea.
  Now, twin spotlights came on, and stayed on, bearing down from high above.
  “Don’t resist. They have us!” Emilio called.
  Hoping to conceal Scott’s bobbing head in the waves, Daniel stood up, the flashlight still in his hand. He didn’t see the muzzle flash in the glare of the spotlights, but the bullet felt like a sledge hammer, as it knocked him backwards into the boiling sea.
 "Nooo!" Riza cried, but it was too late. He was lost in the darkened waves.

Available at these and other booksellers:

Amazon * Apple iBooks * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

My Book Review:

I have read other books authored by Richard Whitten Barnes and, once again, he doesn’t disappoint.

Luzon starts with the changes brought to one Japanese-American college student in California, Daniel Suhiro, working towards his law degree at Berkeley at the time Pearl Harbor is bombed. He has returned from two years of study in Japan where he stayed with his aunt and uncle. His life and that of his family is turned upside-down as wartime measures mean his family’s finances are frozen and they must prepare to live in a relocation camp. Daniel realized he will not be able to complete his degree. He is pressured into enlisting in the military, which he resists, just as in spite of his wish to protect his aunt and uncle in Japan being threatened, he prefers to resist the foreign operative who puts pressure on him to spy for Japan. Faced with many vying for his loyalty, he makes his choice. Although many of us are aware Japanese living on the west coast were ordered to internment camps, I liked how the author expanded on additional challenges the Japanese-Americans faced. The author developed this character well, and his story included many details about some of peculiarities of the Japanese language and procedures that revealed he did his research.

I also enjoyed the character of the OSS operative, Riza Manceda. The two are prepared and sent on a mission together in the Philippines, her native land. Unlike many novels where a plan is laid out, and the reader follows the characters as they follow the plan and overcome opposition, Mr. Barnes’s plot involved the plan falling apart more than once. The characters then are forced to put together new plans in their efforts to fulfill their assignment. It kept me guessing. Once again, I enjoyed reading about the resistance groups in the Philippines. I appreciated the research that went into these details.

The author did a great job making the secondary characters memorable and interesting. The romance elements were sensual. The language was a little rough in spots. The story held my interest from beginning to end. I could not put the book down. I highly recommend Luzon to anyone who enjoys a good war story, especially one full of intrigue and set in the South Pacific.

About the Author:

Richard Whitten Barnes is a native Chicagoan, graduating as a chemist from Michigan State University. He is now retired from a career in international chemical sales and marketing, which has taken him all over the world. Barnes is a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and an avid sailor. He lives in Lake Wylie, S.C., but spends summers with his wife Marg and dog Sparty at their cottage on St. Joseph Island, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron.

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