Homer H. Hickam, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-30192-7

Following The Keeper's Son , this is the second in Hickam's superb series about the WWII adventures of U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Josh Thurlow and his daffy crew of coastal North Carolina misfits. In 1943, Josh and his men are fighting the Japanese around the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Josh, tough as a boiled owl, likes to carry an Aleut ax and drink Mount Gay rum. Still, when he's assigned a curious secret mission, he's not sure he's up for it. A Marine lieutenant, David Armistead, a cousin of President Roosevelt and Josh's friend, has deserted, and Josh is ordered to find him and bring him back for court-martial, or kill him. Josh teams up with another disgraced officer, U.S. Navy Lt. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who is awaiting his own court-martial for losing his boat, PT-109. Josh and JFK are an interesting pair—the one a rough cob, the other a Harvard blueblood—and together they get themselves into loads of trouble with Japanese soldiers, gangs of cannibals, a beautiful native girl who chops off heads and a nutty cargo cult leader. Add fierce, bloody battles and steamy tropical island romance, as well as hilarious cameos by Richard Nixon as an enterprising supply officer and James Michener as a navy historian, and the result is a funny, tightly wrapped tale of wartime action. Agents, Frank Weimann and Mickey Freiberg. 6-city author tour. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/07/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 418 pages - 978-0-312-35436-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-1685-8
Hardcover - 671 pages - 978-0-7862-7724-7
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