Trial by Fire

P.T. Deutermann. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-27304-8
This harrowing WWII naval action thriller from Deutermann (The Hooligans) fictionalizes the final battle of the aircraft carrier USS Franklin. Early chapters introduce the key players, including Cmdr. George Lowry Merritt, the ship’s executive officer, and Lt. John Ryan McCauley, the fire marshal and assistant damage control officer, going about their duties in the months leading up to the morning in March 1945 when a Japanese bomber dropped two bombs that pierced the Franklin’s flight deck, setting off a chain-reaction explosion of armed and fueled fighter aircraft that nearly sinks the ship. Heroism abounds as Deutermann skillfully brings moments like the rescue of 300 men trapped below decks to life, while also vividly conveying the sensations of pervading death. A working knowledge of military terms is assumed, and some characters can feel interchangeable or untapped (the ignominious captain isn’t even given a name). Though more exhaustive details can be found in several nonfiction accounts, fans of naval history will be enthralled. Agent: Ed Maxwell, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/05/2021
Release date: 07/13/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
MP3 CD - 978-1-6661-1045-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-6661-1044-9
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