Amazing read

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Most families were struggling the devastating effects of the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, some families carried a heavier burden than others. William “Bill” French is a former Marine working as a detective, married to Gabrielle and the father of three boys. His oldest son, Robert, had died in Vietnam while serving as a Marine. His death torn the seam which held the family together until Jason, Robert’s twin brother, enlists in the Marines. During his third tour of duty, Jason is dishonorably discharged and returned home angry and disgraced. He turned to alcohol, drugs and a life of crime until he was sent to prison.

When Jason is released from prison he carries on his careless lifestyle. Although his mother had written him off years ago, his father remained concerned but being in law enforcement didn’t help his efforts to communicate with his son. Gibson “Gibby” who is now 18 years old and barely remembers Robert wants desperately to see Jason. Gibby has been sheltered by the cruelties of the world since his parents could bear to “lose” another child to the war.

Jason takes Gibby out one day for a drive to relax and have fun. He is surprised to find that Jason has invited two older girls to come along. Sara and Tyra spend the adventurous day with the brothers who drink and act reckless that day. The day empowered Gibby in more ways than he could imagine especially when Tyra is found dead and Jason is arrested for her murder. Gibby finds the strength and courage, often misguided, to help exonerate his brother. The immaturity of his youth puts Gibby in many dangerous situations which ultimately implicates him in a bigger criminal investigation. Detective French tries to help both his sons without jeopardizing his career since he was officially removed from the case.

The story is compelling and dark at times exposing the depravity that lurks within some people. In particular, X, who is a wealthy inmate on death row with influential people in his pocket ensuring his control over his final days. A man this wealthy and deplorable has just as many minions at his disposal.

Although not specified by the author in a letter which arrived with my book, I was struck by the conflicting ideas of killing. Initially, the story begins with death as a result of military combat and war. This is an act of defense for one’s country and can be viewed as patriotic and justified. Then, the story delves deeper into the minds of killers who intentionally and deliberately act to torture and kill innocent people. In the end, the author successfully accomplishes his goal of speaking “to the unchanging nature of humanity, the good and bad of us all.” The difficult decisions and paths with which we are confronted force us to handle life with love, hope, anger, fear, courage, and determination.