Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #1 – One Confirmed Kill by Peter Johnson
OK, so I’m six months behind on my Cannonball reviews. But now’s a good time to start as any (aside from January, but that’s between me and my therapist).
Anyway, before Cannonball IV even started, I had the opportunity to get a free e-book. I love books, and I love free stuff, so I was in. This book was a shortie, more of a novella, and it was a brisk read. The introduction to the story says that it is not fiction, closely based on real life, and that some names had been changed “to protect the author from violent reprisals from the real people thus depicted. . . .”
Our hero (at least, our narrator) is a New England boy, a Marine combat infantryman. At the beginning, I was a bit afraid that the whole thing was a bit too “I’m a writer!” But Johnston is clearly writing from a place of knowledge and pain, and it shows. The story opens with our hero sitting on a toilet lid with his pants up, although we don’t find out why until the end. In between, the writer tells more about what life in the military is really like than I want to know. In fact, if even half of the story is true, as a country, if these are the people who are “defending our freedom” (as everyone says), we’re fucked. Everything that brings him to that point is somehow both banal and unsettling, and it makes perfect sense that he ends up where he is.
The story is available on Amazon for 99 cents, at least for Kindle, and it’s worth a read. You should check it out, if for no other reason than to encourage new authors to keep working and keep writing. If more people knew what really went on “in country,” maybe fewer people would end up over there in the first place.