Fade To Black
Published by Journalstone Publishing
Reviewed by Laura Hartman
Fade To Black pulls the reader into a life and death gun battle between six Marines that were separated from their platoon and an unknown number of insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq on the first page. Bullets fly and men die. One of the sniper's bullets finds Sargent Casey Stillman, critically wounding him as he tries to save his fellow Marines.
He fades from consciousness only to wake up screaming. He isn't dying in the hot, sandy street, but falling out of the bed he is sleeping in with his wife, Pam. The sounds, smells and horror of Fallujah slowly fade as he realizes he is home with his wife and his baby daughter is sleeping down the hall. He is not a Marine Sargent; he is a high school science teacher, Jack.
Jack's horrible nightmare is so real he cannot stop thinking about it. His life feels somehow off kilter, familiar things seem foreign to him as he tries to make it through his workday.
His nightmares increase and Jack begins to think he is crazy. He seeks help from his family doctor, who sends him to a therapist. Pam stands by him, surprisingly calm during his struggle to grasp reality. Things get worse. He starts seeing the Marines killed in his dreams when he is awake. He knows facts about the men who died in Fallujah as if he really was their Sargent. How could he be Casey Stillman, when he was never in the military? Is he Casey or is he Jack?
Jeffrey Wilson's third novel is a nail-biting, heart-stopping, gripping story told with such detail the reader is grabbed by emotion from the first page to the last. This book appeals to many different tastes on numerous levels. It is a war story - but not typical. It is a story about the love a man has for his wife and daughter - but not a love story. It is a mystery - just who is the main character? Is it Jack or is it Casey?
Wilson served in Iraq as a Marine combat surgeon. He brings the realities and horrors of war to the pages of his book with sounds, smells and images. Layered with emotions Fade To Black is an amazing, sometimes uncomfortable ride, but one you won't want to put down until the last page is read.
Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman