Thunder in the Morning Calm by Don Brown begins at a prison in North Korea, where enemies from the Korean War are detained, tortured, and sometimes killed. The story depicts the boiling tension between the U.S. and North Korea. The plot revolves around a U.S. Navy Commander named Gunner, who discovers that there are a few surviving American prisoners of war in North Korea. A small part of him hopes and believes that his grandfather may be one of the survivors. He decides to fund a private mission to infiltrate North Korea and rescue them. He hires two retired U.S. Special Operations soldiers, and the three men learn to trust each other as they encounter dangers hidden within North Korea.
This novel takes a fresh look at modern war and Spec Ops. Instead of making the story a bloody battle, the author uses the dispositions and quirks of each character to intensify the plot and raise the quality of writing. He provides the reader with the chance to connect with the characters through their thoughts and actions. Unlike many books wherein the characters seem shallow and boring, Brown gives each of his characters a unique personality. This adds to the story’s believability and makes the plot something more than just a rescue mission. The dialogue creates another positive element in the story. It reveals personality traits and adds a sense of humor that helps lighten the mood and decrease some of the overwhelming tension.
At first, I felt skeptical about the story’s concept. By the end, surprisingly, I found myself entranced with the characters and plot, with chills running down my spine. This book is a must-have for school and church libraries and even private collections. It incorporates Christianity throughout the story, but the author does not make it sound preachy. The characters put their faith and trust in God to deliver them to safety. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (Psalm 28:7 NIV) This strong faith in God adds a nice touch to the story. However, the Christian messages do not sidetrack the progress of the plot. This makes it a great story for believers or non-believers, something that truly will intrigue everyone. – Keegan C. Rudmann, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps. As it happens, Gunner's grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather. Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying. Don Brown is building a loyal fan base by writing what he knows best: thrillers with heart. A former Navy JAG officer and action officer in the Pentagon, Brown pens action-packed plots and finely-drawn characters that are credible and compelling. Thunder in the Morning Calm is a novel of bravery, duty, and family love that will keep readers of all ages reading straight through to the last page.