Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Highly Recommended - 5 Stars

Forgotten Soldiers: What happened to Jacob Walden
Book Review by Author John Podlask

Although this is a work of fiction, the story could very well have happened and none of us would have been the wiser.

Captain Jacob Walden, 24, had only been in Vietnam for a month when his plane is shot down in 1970.  He ejects safely, only to be captured by farmers loyal to the enemy.  The author chronicles Jacob’s 400-mile trek on foot through the jungles - northward toward Hanoi where he can be turned over to the proper authorities.  Jake's entire world takes a flip upside down when his captors inform him that Vietnam is not at war with the United States, therefore, the Geneva Convention does not apply.  Jake is not a POW, instead, he is judged a criminal and sentenced to prison.

Thus began his daily ritual of torture, starvation, inhumane treatment and isolation.  Thinking his life could not get any worse, Jake soon discovers how wrong he is when a masochistic Russian Major takes over the interrogation and torture. 
The author uses real events in his story such as the historic U.S. raid on the Son Tay prison camp to rescue seventy American prisoners – a location only 23 miles west of Hanoi, Jane Fonda’s infamous trip to the Hanoi Hilton Prison in North Vietnam, and the fall of the Russian empire.

Thirty-six years later, Capt Jacob Walden is officially pronounced dead by the United States government.  A reporter and Jacob’s brother do not believe this to be true and set out on their own to find proof to the contrary.  What they find instead is shocking!  To tell anymore would be a spoiler - you’ll have to read this fine story on your own to see how it ends.  Warning:  you’ll stay up late into the night reading because you won’t be able to stop.  Highly recommended!  Five Stars!  Great job Warren!  

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