Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Pacific by Peter Watt

Few things brighten my day more than finding a yellow ‘parcel notification’ slip in my mailbox and then going to the Post Office to pick up a package from Australia. Last week my local Postmistress handed over a wonderful surprise—an autographed copy of the latest novel written by my friend Peter Watt.

These days, I rarely take time to read for ‘fun’ but I’ve been anxiously awaiting the publication of The Pacific. This most recent novel is a continuation of the legend of the Kelly and Mann families, which began in Pete’s novel Papua.

I read The Pacific in 2 days.

I’m always pleased by the authenticity of Peter’s novels. Every writer knows—heck, every reader knows—that a good book will remain as only a good book unless its author knows what he or she is talking about. To create a great book, the author has to have done extensive research… or ‘lived’ his or her story. Peter’s fans have the advantage. He is a man who does extensive historical research, and he has lived a life of adventure in addition to being a former advisor to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. The man isn’t blowing smoke—when it comes to the backdrops and time periods of his novels, he knows his stuff.

In The Pacific, Peter takes us to exotic locations. Queensland, Vietnam, Papua...there were few places on the globe which remained unscarred—literally and figuratively--after World War II. As in Europe, many countries in the Pacific were deeply embroiled in the intrigue, the terror and the scrabble for survival.

Ilsa Stahl is an American war correspondent who is taken captive by the Japanese after being plucked from the sea following a plane crash. Perhaps worse--Ilsa is set to be turned over to the Nazis due to past activities carried out by her German step-father.

But she is the daughter of Jack Kelly, the sister of Lukas and the cousin of their closest friend, Karl Mann. These Papuans of Irish and German descent each find themselves with a mission: to bring Ilsa to safety.

War is hell and for those involved, death hovers--never far away. The Kellys and the Manns do not escape unscathed from the battles fought in the jungles of Indochina and the South Pacific.

It might be the height of summer Down Under but up here in America it’s the first day of Old Man Winter’s domination. Grab The Pacific and settle in for a good read. Better yet—start at the beginning of this saga, with Papua and read all the way through. Then (because you won’t be able to help yourselves) give the Duffys and the MacIntoshes a try, beginning with Cry of the Curlew. A major motion picture is in the works for that series and I can’t wait! For twice the enjoyment, be sure to read it before it hits the theaters. If you visit Peter’s website, you can order your own autographed copy.

Merry Christmas and a blessed and happy New Year to you all!

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