A SOUND OF TRUMPETS by James Wellard


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This is the fourth (?) Wellard novel published here, the first under this imprint. Wellard has been- and remains- difficult to stereotype. This is a story of four men, an English Captain Olivier and his man, Sergeant Gudgins, the American, Lieutenant Culpepper and the Frenchman, Major Gauvain -- assigned a middle eastern country, under an Allied Command, to survey land for the establishment of an air strip. The undisclosed reasons are quite different. The American hopes to discover oil; the Frenchman seeks personal glory; the Englishman has been ordered to contact several scientists rumored to be defecting from behind the Iron Curtain. The main story is concerned with their hazardous journey through unfamiliar and at times hostile country. While background and atmosphere seem authentic, the writing competent, still the book fails to generate excitement. Perhaps because the main characters are lacking individuality, it is difficult to identify with their fortunes. The story, for instance, bogs down in Oliver's romance with a beautiful girl of mysterious origin, who belongs on a Hollywood set, complete with makeup man and wardrobe mistress in the background. A disappointing book which promises more than it delivers.

Publisher: Little, Brown