In the Name of Honor – Richard North Patterson
A trial story, a military trial story, a military trial story about a soldier recently deployed in Iraq, full of PTSD references… a host of subjects I usually avoid . When I was asked to review a book that combined all of these factors – I wasn’t too sure; as a paralegal I find myself yelling “you can’t DO that” at trial or law office mistakes; as a military spouse any inaccuracies in a story portraying “my” world, tend to irk me; stories about service members who have Post Traumatic Stress that depict the soldier as a formulaic trigger happy, psychotic, offend me.
But I changed my mind, about 2 pages into “In the Name of Honor” and I began looking forward to my commuting train trips to keep reading!
If you live in the DC area, and have access to Fort Belvoir – you will recognize the fictional Fort Bolton – especially the Officer’s Club!
Those of us in the military community will also recognize the people – well written, but not transparent, there are enough questions about their motivation to keep you guessing. The twist at the end – NOT telegraphed ahead of time, a couple of clues scattered around are inconsequential, but in hindsight, are great building blocks. The military members of the cast are well drawn. The spouses, well I recognized these women, or at least their outward “milspouse”, and the interactions between the lead characters and the minor players who appeared in the military family world – could have been pulled from the blogs I frequent, or the military spouse networks we all skim through.
Non military readers will enjoy the story, the twists, turns, murder mystery convolutions and history. Some scenes are hard to take, but seem to be pulled from the stories and headlines of the Sadr City actions. I haven’t asked the family members who were in the area to read it, not too sure that is a good idea!
The PTS defense, with its ingredients of anger, depression, sleeplessness, nightmares and amnesia – is a textbook case. Is it overblown? I don’t know. That is a judgment I leave to those who are suffering with it, or who are family members of someone who suffers from this level of Post Traumatic Stress. Well written? Oh, yes, very well written. My own reservations concerning books/TV shows etc showing returning vets as being trigger happy, psycho, ready to snap at any time, still concern me, but I was drawn into the story, I wanted to understand the accused.
Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did. It’s not a “happy” book, it’s not a book to skim through and escape, no “brain candy” here. In the Name of Honor is intense, complex, and well written. The characters have depth, they will surprise you. The obligatory love story intertwined, isn’t the typical one (I’m not going to ruin it for you, go read it yourself!) Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely!