Blog Posts by Uncle Will
My father fought on Iwo Jima, a remote island in the Pacific West, from February 19 through March 16, 1945. 7000 Marines were killed and 20,000 were wounded, during the bloodiest battle of World War II. Unfortunately, most Americans today know more about the famously staged flag-raising incident that took place there, than the fact that on an island so small, so seemingly insignificant, so many men died fighting for world peace.
The Japanese had occupied Iwo Jima for so long that their entire occupying army was networked underground. After the Marine invasion it was discovered that all the Naval pre-invasion bombing did not even make a minuscule dent in disrupting the island defenses. The island consisted of black volcanic rock, finely ground, that made traversing difficult. The Japan forces knew that this island was integral to the defense of their homeland. They were extremely well-prepared. Suicide attacks were the nightly norm.
The chapter on Iwo Jima is just one of several examples of the sacrifices made and battles won.
There have been many books written about the war in the Pacific and this is one of the better ones; dedicated
exclusively to the final year of WWII and all the U.S. island victories that were lined-up like dominos. The
pictures are many and the writing is precise and easy to absorb. It does not read like a high school history book.
It's been about a year and half since Griffin's last installment was published in his Badge of Honor series.
Sgt. Matthew Payne is back and his guns are still blazing. Coined "Wyatt Earp" by the Philadelphia press, Matt has had the misfortune to have drawn and used his police issued firearm more times in his short tenure as a law enforcement officer than 99% of his fellow officers do in their entire careers.
This time around Matt is trying to stop a rash of vigilante killings and copycat killings of those vigilante killings. Confusing, yes; especially to Matt who is left scratching his head.
Payne is anointed the head of the task force that is going to put a stop to this madness. Matt's love-life remains healthy and his new relationship with Amanda Law, who he helped rescue during an earlier case, grows stronger.
Once again Griffin spins his magic. He has a handle on police procedure and his stories never are Hollywood-ized. Since it was so long since his last book, Griffin used a clever device to give his old and new readers the Matt Payne back story: He had a character write Payne's obituary.