Brady balances his glitterati-clotted, high-fashion Hampton novels (Gin Lane, 1998) with blood-and-guts war stories full of bitter ass-hauling and despair.
Brady (The Marines of Autumn, 2000, etc.), himself a commander of a rifle platoon in Korea, tells of war from Guadalcanal to Korea. New hero Colonel James (“Oliver”) Cromwell bears some likeness to his last, Captain Tom Verity, both having served on Guadalcanal and in Korea. Cromwell, assigned as a military attaché to the American ambassador in Korea, finds himself up against the North’s surprise midsummer Sunday invasion (echoing Pearl Harbor) into South Korea and the First Hundred Days whose wild rout turns on the stand at the Pusan Perimeter and then MacArthur’s famed Inchon pincer movement that reopened Seoul. Cromwell, a superb athlete who fought in the Berlin Olympics and later was heavyweight champion of the Pacific fleet, leads a platoon of raiders from the ’Canal across the Pacific to Bougainville and Koiara. Thus he’s tempered for action in Korea and as the war there goes badly he longs to dump diplomacy and get back to work in his true calling as a Marine: his wish is granted, putting him face-to-face with the fierce defenses of Red infantry.
Brady enfacts novels, gives them sweep and action, but stylelessly so.