“Thunder In The Morning Calm” by Don Brown was a thrilling suspense novel that takes you behind enemy lines in North Korea. When lead character, Lieutenant Commander Gunner McCormick, was briefed on his mission to the Yellow Sea, he discovers a hopeful, yet disturbing piece of information about the Korean war. After 60 years, it seemed like North Korea still held prisoners of war in their camps. Gunner’s grandfather (whom he never met) never came home from Korea. Determined, Gunner sets off on a mission to bring the left behind soldiers home – or die trying.
Y’all, very rarely do I fall in love with a military book, but this one did it! The whole novel was so well done, I’m looking into the next two books in the series. I loved how the author threw all types of point of view into the story to give it dimension. One minute, you can be reading from Gunner’s point of view on his mission and the next, you’re back on the USS Truman in the Yellow Sea as two US pilots are shot at by the North Koreans. Then, there’s the few times when the author takes a page and relays the viewpoint of the North Koreans as they seek to find out what happened to “Dear Leader’s” favorite warship. The author nailed all the personalities and I loved it!
Another thing I liked was how the book was about relationships as much as it was the mission. From the first page till the very last, you feel the depth of friendship between the old soldiers locked away in North Korea, the trust and respect in Gunner’s commando team, his mother’s prayer back in the US and most importantly, the genuineness of the underground church in North Korea when one Believer meets another for the first time. So while there was a lot of military action and terms, the book had a very personal element that made all the characters real and lifelike.
Conclusion: When you read the back cover that says the “bravery, duty, and family love will keep you reading straight through to the last page,” they were right. I read this book in two days, and I’m normally a slower reader. Every page flowed seamlessly from scene to scene. There were also a lot of maps to help you understand the Korean geography and how Gunner’s commando team planned to get in and out of the country. All I can say is this was an excellent book! Will definitely be reading more from this author soon! If you like military fiction or are interested in books set in different countries, or that mentions the Korean War, check out “Thunder In The Morning Calm!”