The late 1960s was a tumultuous time in American history. The Vietnam war was in full swing and several young men went off to war and didn’t return. One of those men was Duff Cowan who left behind evidence suggesting that he was part of a secret operation and his death may have been a homicide. Two of the people affected by his death were his sister Lacey and his best friend Brady Nash. Despite Lacey’s protests, Brady enlists in the army and heads to Vietnam to find the men responsible for Duff’s death.
Brady becomes one of the best snipers in the Vietnam and works his way into the secret organization that cost Duff his life. Little by little Brady discovers that not everything is as it seems and it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Brady finds himself involved in a world of spies, double agents and he sees that the lines between good and evil are blurred.
The Gomorrah Principle by Rick DeStefanis is more than a war-time thriller. This is also a story about love, friendship, loyalty and morality. I’ll admit right away that I’m not a big reader of war stories but Rick DeStefanis had me hooked from the start. The beginning of the story focuses on Brady and you get to learn about his feelings towards Duff and Lacey. Then we find out about what happened to one of the people who went away to war and came back. At this point you feel like you know Brady personally and you’re concerned for him as he goes on a journey that he feels he has to take.
The Gomorrah Principle is a masterpiece with strong characters and an exciting storyline. I enjoyed how Brady worries about loosing his humanity as he has to start killing people and how he still hopes that some day he can go home and have a normal life with Lacey. I liked that we also got to hear Lacey’s story in this book, I felt it added more depth to an already complex story. A good war story should also be about the people soldiers leave behind and this one gets into how Lacey is affected by Brady’s absence.
Another thing I liked about this book is how it shows that people on both sides of the war have their own agenda and everyone is a shade of grey. In one of my favorite scenes a Vietnamese woman says that this is a civil war and America should not be here. She goes on to say she is leaving the country because she is not sure she can trust anyone on either side of the conflict. I loved that this story looked at the war from the Vietnamese perspective as well as the American prespective.This novel leaves nothing out showing how the soldiers in the war felt and how the people effected by it felt. We also get a vivid description of what it’s like being a soldier under attack. Rick DeStefanis spent time in the armed forces and describes the fighting in vivid detail from his own experience. Even if you don’t like war stories you should read this book anyway because it’s a good story period.