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The Preserve: A Novel by Steve Anderson

The Preserve: A Novel

by Steve Anderson

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Steve Anderson’s new book is a post-WWII thriller set on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1948. Wendell Lett, war hero turned deserter, seeks treatment for combat trauma at an isolated facility called The Preserve. Instead of a cure for his jangled nerves, he finds himself caught up in an assassination plot that runs all the way to General Douglas MacArthur.

The Preserve is a first-rate historical thriller. It is fast, dark, complicated enough without being ridiculous, with characters and relationships you are interested in, and enough historic facts salted through the narrative to make you ponder long after the last page.

The Preserve is Anderson's second book featuring Wendell Lett, who first appeared in Under False Flags. They can be read as stand-alones, and are even better read back to back. ( )
  RoseCityReader | Nov 19, 2019 |
Set in the U.S territory of Hawaii. 1948. “The Preserve” is based on some true events, includes real-life characters and offers a meaningful take on the dark side of American power in the postwar era. Reading this novel you should be willing to face some grim truths.

This is the sequel to “Under False Flags” which I haven’t read and I surely missed out not having done so. It would have been an asset to have read it in order to better understand where the main character, Wendell Lett, came from and why he ended up in Hawaii. Although the author does make mention of his past he did not elaborate. So now I am curious to read Wendell’s mission in Europe.

According to Mr. Anderson his story is entirely fictional. But it wouldn’t be surprising if a camp like the preserve did exist with its classified psychological drug programs, its clandestine rogue operations, and a place where plots against major figures are made including assassination. “The Preserve” and Wendell Lett brings us deep into the heart of what could have been…..In “The Preserve”, Wendell desperately seeks a cure for his severe combat trauma, he thinks he is in wright place for his salvation…or is he?.... he is not alone…

Seeking a new beginning is Kanani Alana who became a close friend to Wendell. This tough-minded Hawaiian who speaks Hawaiian Pidgin English added local colour to the narrative and a sense of place. Her language is smoothly incorporated and is not overly done. The author has a strong way with prose, slow, pausing at times to let us savour his tale.

Wendell and Kanani although are the main characters they do not play in this drama by themselves. There is a huge cast of characters that crosses their paths. Some names are known such as General Douglas MacArthur and the nefarious US intelligence operative Ed Lansdale and others less familiar but nonetheless important players.

It is not without suspense. When Wendell discovers the true intentions behind the camp, he and Kanani plan a dangerous escape. But can they survive the harsh wilderness of the Big Island?....Their escape is slow moving but what a nail-biting drama we follow. Well-done, it is hard not to root for their success.

Included in this captivating story, is the search for the missing Imperial Japanese fortune that had been plundered throughout Asia during the war. The author also mentioned that with the U.S. military ruling the territory the Hawaiians culture and ways of life changed for ever.

“The Preserve” is an exciting fiction written with elegance. ( )
1 vote Tigerpaw70 | Oct 5, 2019 |
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