Book Review - Blaze of Glory by Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Title: Blaze of Glory
Genre: Christian fiction; war
Author: Maj Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 16, 2010
Amazon Link: Blaze of Glory - Kindle Version
Awesome read! I've been reviewing novels with a combat PTSD theme or character as a non-traditional resource for military spouses and loved ones. Most reads I’ve found thus far fall into either a romance or romantic suspense genre. Given my choice genre has always been war, I was quite content to stumble upon this one!
As a brief overview of the story without giving too much away, Sgt. Major Eric Moyer is the leader of a special ops team assigned to a mission to find and stop the one(s) responsible for the recent occurrence and trend in female suicide bombers. Prior to their mission, the team is assigned a new member and decorated war hero, Jerry Zinsser. What the team does not know is that Zinsser suffers from PTSD and is having suicidal thoughts. This adds an additional dimension to the storyline as Zinsser suffers with flashbacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts throughout the mission. It also leaves Moyer to with a gut-wrenching decision to make once he becomes aware of Zinsser’s condition: send him home prior to mission completion and lose a valuable member of the team, or keep him and risk mission safety if Zinsser loses his sense of reality.
I think Ret. Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky made an excellent team in formulating this novel to be a well written, clean yet realistic, suspenseful, and exciting read, while developing characters fully to give you that, “I’m scared to read the ending” effect in fear of who might die. It was one of those books that earned several dirty looks from my husband given I couldn't put it down.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good war novel, especially those looking for a cleaner read that still provides a realistic story plot. In terms of recommending this book as a non-conventional resource for military spouses and loved ones, I think it is also an excellent read. Not only does it illustrate the many facets of PTSD (depression, social isolation, survivor’s guilt, suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, flashbacks, sleep disturbances, etc.) but it also enables the reader to see and feel Zinsser’s mindset in not seeking the help he needed and why he would suppress and deny his mental condition in fear of losing the only link he had left to personal fulfilment and comradery.