In Samuels’ novel, an adventure-craving thrill-seeker begins his journey through life as a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War; however, his thirst for danger lands him in one precarious situation after another.
At every turn, Daniel Govertsen encounters an authority figure intent on denying him. Nevertheless, Daniel repeatedly finds a loophole and never takes no for an answer. When an Army captain forces him to wait four months before taking flight school classes, his impatience to jump into the Vietnam War leads him to appeal directly to a congressman in Washington. Daniel’s aggressive, fearless nature is on full display throughout the narrative; in fact, his stint as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam will leave readers anticipating an untimely demise. As soldiers die around him, he miraculously escapes harm. Though classified as a thriller, the narrative reads like a memoir. This allows the audience to experience the main character’s death-defying journey and know his thoughts. As such, there is more showing than telling. Daniel seems somewhat unchanged by his experiences. On the contrary, he relishes his time in Vietnam and is certain that destiny will not allow him to die in the air. Following his tenure in Vietnam, the pilot is consumed by the fear of reintegrating himself into the real world. Where would he find the danger that he eagerly craves? From teaching flight school classes and working in the construction industry to opening his own bar, the veteran valiantly attempts to move on from his previous way of life. The story takes an intriguing turn when Antonio, who has ties to the Italian Mafia, introduces him to Joe, his uncle and a godfather of sorts. Though life in organized crime is not what Daniel envisioned, he is mesmerized by its camaraderie and rewards. The novel then explores where the comfortable lifestyle of a mobster will lead for Daniel, and if he can find peace from the haunting memories of Vietnam.
A credible, instantly appealing and meaningful read.