Title: Thunder in the Morning Calm (Pacific Rim Series #1)
Author: Don Brown
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Wow, what a thrilling story! The setting is modern era Korea, both North and South. There have been rumors circulating that the North Koreans have a prison camp where they are still holding American servicemen from the Korean War. These prisoners have been held captive for sixty years! If the rumors are true, then Commander Christianson “Gunner” McCormick plans to rescue them no matter the cost.
Gunner comes from a wealthy family, but he doesn’t flaunt that and is a member of the U.S. Naval Intelligence branch of the service. His U.S. Marine grandfather went missing during the Korean War, leaving a hole in the life of his mother as she was only five years old when he disappeared. He is presumed dead, but in his memory Gunner vows to rescue these captive servicemen. His mother taught him to memorize Scripture every night while growing up, and the one that sticks in his mind while he is deciding whether to pursue this extremely dangerous rescue mission into Communist North Korea is “Do what is right,” from Deuteronomy. Gunner is risking his naval career as this mission is not sanctioned by the military, lots of money, as well as his life. He recruits two retired servicemen, one from the U.S. Army and the other from the South Korean military, to help him in this mission. All the men know that their odds of success are slim at best, but are willing to “leave no man behind”.
Gunner asks for thirty days leave from his assignment aboard the U.S.S. Harry Truman to begin his mission. While he is gone, his ship engages in practice maneuvers with their South Korean allies. Missiles get launched, attacks by North Korea, then retaliation from the U.S. cranks up the tension. Another portion of the story tells about the prisoner camp and the cruelty and brutality of the North Korean soldiers. When one captive falls ill, they find help from an unexpected source only for the source to be captured and sentenced to execution. This is the world Gunner and two companions must enter.
I couldn’t put this book down! The various threads of the story all had their own set of players with tension and danger galore. The bravery, courage and strength of the U. S. servicemen was inspiring. Gunner and Keith, both held to their faith in the most trying of circumstances. God certainly answered the prayers of Margaret, Gunner’s mother, in a big way! The characters were easy to get to know and connect with, so the story was a quick read for me. I can’t wait to read book two in the series, Fire of the Raging Dragon. This is one not to miss, so grab a copy for yourself and a friend!