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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hamfist Over the Trail by G. E. Nolly

Genre: Military Fiction

Setting, Vietnam, 1969

First Sentence: As soon as the ENG Fire light caught my attention, my left hand was moving - almost without my intentional thought - to perform the BOLD FACE actions for an engine fire.

This novel is the first installment of Nolly's Hamfist series.

This novel follows Hamilton Hancock's adventures a an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War.  Hamilton (call sign Hamfist) is the Distinguished Graduate of his pilot training class.  Like every hot shot pilot, Hamfist wants to fly fighters.  Unfortunately, there are no fighter slots available for the graduates of his class.  So, Hamfist chooses to fly an O-2A and be a Forward Air Controller (FAC).  FACs fly over enemy territory looking for targets, then calling in airstrikes against them. 

Once he gets to Vietnam, Hamfist learns that death can come quickly as several of his friends are killed in combat.  Like his pilot friends, he believes that when your number's up, your numbers up.

When he gets a "Dear John" letter, Hamfist starts taking risks he shouldn't take.  Will Hamfist's number be up soon?

I enjoyed this novel.  It is written in an easy to read, first person style,  Although I don't read much military fiction, I found that this novel was very believable. Hamfist acts like a normal person.  There are some battle scenes, but no descriptions of blood and gore.  For fans of military fiction, there is a healthy dose of military jargon and acronyms.

I will soon be reading the next novel in the series!

Hamfist Over the Trail

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