IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH
Publisher : Booksurge
Description
   Jack Collins, a young American soldier stationed in the Philippines on Dec. 7th, 1941, is taken prisoner during the fall of Bataan and is forced to endure the horror of the Bataan Death March. He survives the deadly ordeal, the greatest atrocity ever comitted agaibst the American fighting man, only because of his will to live and the compassion of one of his captors, Lt. Kenji Tanaka, a Japanese officer who has serious reservations about the war his contry's leaders have launched against the United States. When a Japanese guard attempts to drive a bayonet into Jack's chest, Kenji deflects the blade and Jack is only wounded. When a fellow POW rips open Jack's shirt to treat the wound, a distinctive tattoo is revealed on Jack's arm, a tattoo Kenji knows he'll never forget. As Jack looks up at the man who saved his life, Kenji's unusal height and distinctive looks are etched indeliby in his mind.
   Years after the war, Jack unable to cope with intense and unforgiving flashbacks, returns to the Philippines seeking closure. Instead, seeing the places where he suffered so much drives into a state of paranoia and he embarks on a dark and twisting journey of revenge, trading his innocense for bloodshed on the streets of Tokyo.
   After the war Kenji pursues a career in law enforcement and rises to be chief of Dectectives of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and it falls to him to hunt down the killer stalking the streets of Tokyo. When they finally confront each other across the body of the latest victim, only Jack realizes their paths had crossed before and knows he can never harm the man who saved his life at the door of a dinghy warehouse years before. Kenji, on the other hand, sees only a crazed killer and he must once again decide Jack's fate
    War brings out the worst in men. War brings out the best in men. As troops rally, soldiers pericsh and men are forever changed. Instincts and habits transform men into something deadly and destructive.

    





Praise and Reviews

Review by Kirkus Discoveries

Aformer World War II POW goes on a vengeful murder spree only to be hunted by the Japanese soldier whoonce saved his life, in Littlejohn’s debut novel.
The narrative begins in 1941, two years into World War II, when American soldier Jack Collins is taken prisoner in the Philippines after the fall of Bataan. Like most POW camps, the one that confines Jack is a hellish nightmare, most powerfully underscored by the Bataan Death March, during which innumerable detainees are raped, disemboweled or—mercifully—just beaten within an inch of their lives. It seems Jack’s number is up when he is nearly on the receiving end of a bayonet stabbing. Amazingly, a compassionate Japanese officer, Lt. Kenji Tanaka, deflects the attack, allowing Jack to live and return to America upon emancipation.
Forty three years later, Jack descends on Tokyo to exact a bloody revenge on the men who terrorized him and, as the body count rises, he finds himself pursued by an unlikely adversary: Kenji, now a Tokyo police officer. The novel is decidedly less literary than cinematic, but that doesn’t much matter. Littlejohn hinges his narrative effectively and vividly on one of the lesser-pillaged events of World War II and delivers a nail-biting thriller. The setup is a somewhat rickety but, like any book of this genre, the implausibility is eclipsed by the deft employment of pulse-quickening action. This is a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse complicated by the fact that both Jack and Kenji are fully developed, likable characters. With readers rooting for both sides, it becomes impossible to foresee or want an outcome. Littlejohn could let go of some of the loftier literary aspirations that creep in from time to time—especially the superfluous epigraphs—but even they can’t slow this fast-paced, suspenseful effort. Whether the book falters on its own ambition or not, it proves a rewarding read.

A suspenseful thriller equipped with the volatility of a ticking bomb.

Littlejohn, Walter B.

IN THE SHADOW

OF DEATH

BookSurge (330 pp.)

$15.99 paperback

October 21, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4392-0045-2

Kirkus



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walter littlejohn
Born and raised in Dallas, I'm a retired USAF officer (and pilot)  I have a BBS from Texas A & M University and a MA from The University of Texas at Dallas.  During my 20 o More...