One Was a Soldier-Julia Spencer-Fleming

One Was a Soldier

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Minotaur, Apr 12 2011, $24.95

ISBN: 9780312334895

In Miller’s Kill, New York clinical therapist Sarah Dowling runs a group session for returning veterans.  Her current patients consists of orthopedist Dr. George “Trip” Stillman, Marine Lance Corporal Willem Ellis who lost his legs in theater, Guard helicopter pilot Major Clare Fergusson, Military Police Guard Sergeant Eric McCrea of infamous Camp Bucca, and Army Specialist Mary” Tally” McNabb.  Being a small town, the quintet knows each other.

Over the next few months the group meets several times with each trying to conceal their fears of what has changed in family dynamics while they were deployed.  However besides each one struggling to catch up with the different civilian scenarios from when they mobilized, corruption and suicide to cover what Clare believes is a murder add to the sense of feelings disengaged and non-anchored.

This direct sequel to In the Bleak Midwinter is a great military thriller that focuses on returning veterans with diverse issues struggling to return to civilian life after time in theater.  The murder mystery seems standardized when compared to the plight of each vet and their family; that is until one understands the best that money can buy.  Readers, except the military-industrial-Congressional complex thirsting for the next war, will appreciate this deep look at vets returning with different degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a realization that life in the home-front kept breathing without them.

Harriet Klausner

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