Posted 20 hours ago

Five Decembers

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Joined in 2023

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As soon as I started reading it I passed the word to reader friends, one of which, wondered like me, how this author slipped under our radar—how could this be a first novel? He spends his time learning Japanese from Takahashi’s daughter, Sachi (among other things – yes, they develop ‘feelings’ for each other – insert eye roll here). Almost immediately the situation escalates rapidly as it becomes obvious that there's a lot more to the situation than McGrady first thought.

I now have it on hold at two different libraries–one of them should come through for me this week or next. When Hong Kong is invaded and Pearl Harbour attacked by the Japanese, he is cut off from all he has: at this stage, we are totally gripped with his destiny as a man isolated in an enemy country, his love story, his investigation and the man who keeps eluding him. Titan Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.Joe McGrady immediately finds himself fighting for his life and then is whisked across the Pacific to find a small clue in the Far East as the war in the Pacific erupts and there's no way home.

Everything is covered in a patina, distanced as if in a period movie, or as if to say some deeds are a thing of the past. It merges elements of hardboiled crimefiction into a tale of survival and a sweeping historical novel that looks at little known issues, such as Japanese pacifism and more.The uncle and daughter, Kansei and Sachi Takahashi, provide a safe haven for McGrady for the duration of the war. War, imprisonment, torture, romance, foreign language and culture are all explored with genuine feeling. Kestrel details man's inhumanity in war, as things becomes ever bleaker, amidst a devastating horror of mass deaths, heartbreak and losses, it is love that holds people together, a reason to live, and this is all too painfully true for Joe too.

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