THE EDGE OF VALOR
Todd Ingram Adventures, Book 5
Severn River Publications
Winner gold Medal, Historical Fiction, 2015, Military Writer’s society of America
Edge of Valor is the fifth historical thriller by John J. Gobbell featuring the World War II exploits of Cdr. Todd Ingram, commanding officer of the destroyer USS Maxwell (DD 525), who saves his ship when it’s hit by a kamikaze off Okinawa. For repairs, they pull into Kerama Rhetto, Okinawa, where news of the war’s end comes. With everyone else, Ingram expects to be shipped home. Read More…
Deadman Launch Synopsis - continued
Instead, he receives orders to fly to Manila where he’s met by Brig. Gen. Otis Dewitt, an Army buddy from his days on Corregidor and now intelligence aide to General Richard K Sutherland, chief of staff to General Douglas MacArthur. On Ingram’s C-54 are sixteen Japanese senior military and civilian diplomats who meet with Sutherland to discuss formal surrender arrangements. Two days later, the terms are agreed with Ingram working with one of the Japanese delegates to ensure enemy mines are neutralized so the allied fleet of over two ships can enter Tokyo Bay. While Ingram is promised he can attend the ceremony in Tokyo Bay, DeWitt, in concert with the State Department, has an ulterior motive and sends him to Karafuto Island (Sakhalin to the Soviets) to defuse a Soviet attack on Hokkaido – the northernmost island of Japan’s Home Islands. Ingram’s old adversary Edward Dezhnev is the brigade commander responsible for laying siege to a Japanese holdout command in Toro, a natural jumping-off place for an attack on Hokkaido.
Also in Toro, DeWitt explains, is Walter Boring, a Red Cross representative with two crates of overwhelming photographic evidence of Japan’s experiments on live human beings in China. Ingram is expected to return Boring and those crates, but how can he when Boring is being protected by the Japanese garrison in Toro, where Dezhnev and his brigade stand ready to overpower them at any moment?
As his shipmates prepare to return to their loved ones, Ingram’s war continues. Three weeks earlier he was fighting the Japanese, and the Russians were supposed to be friends. Now he doesn’t know who to trust.
What Readers are Saying:
★★★★★ A Terrific End of WWII to Beginning of the Cold War novel.
★★★★★ I love all of John Gobbell’s novels. He inspired me to look up historical events and track his characters through their adventures using Google maps or Google Earth. His descriptions of the conditions experienced under wartime conditions bring the events home. You experience his characters’ fear, anxiety, happiness, and successes.
★★★★★ Another Great entertaining novel in this Todd Ingram series filled with just the right amount of unexpected twists and turns with old and a few new characters.
CLICK TO SEE REVIEWS AND PRAISE
REVIEWS AND PRAISE FOR THE EDGE OF VALOR
“Having skippered his battered destroyer through deadly kamikaze attacks, twice Navy Cross winner Todd Ingram is rewarded by Washington with a new and even more perilous secret mission. And John J. Gobbell will keep his readers up until dawn to discover if Ingram can possibly accomplish or even survive his hair-raising assignment to foil a bold Soviet planned invasion of Hokkaido from Sakhalin—before the ink is dry on Japan’s surrender.”
—PETE WILSON, Former governor of California and former US Senator from California (armed services committee)
“Jack Gobbell knows how to tell a story, and Edge of Valor is a corking good one—combining the final days of World War II’s war in the Pacific and the beginning of the Cold War. Gobbell skillfully weaves fascinating, well-drawn fictional characters into historical situations and thus makes a learning experience out of gripping drama. Along the way, he gives such real-life characters as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Chester Nimitz, Adm. John S. McCain Sr. and even Arturo Toscanini walk-on parts that are often almost as interesting as his main characters. Edge of Valor is, in short, a compelling and well-researched work of historical fiction.”
—STANLEY CLOUD, author of fiction and nonfiction, including The Murrow Boys: Pioneers in the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism and the novel The Manhattan Well
“Far better than a yarn. Edge of Valor has vivid historical characters and heart. Like no other historical novel, it brings to life the new world order that followed WWII and is still emerging as the cause of turmoil in the western Pacific continues to shift.”
—SETH CROPSEY, author of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy
“John Gobbell’s latest book, Edge of Valor: A Todd Ingram Novel is another triumph in this series. It is historical fiction at its best. He is a master of the details of the battle actions of our WWII destroyers and extends his tale to include the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.”
—Rear Adm. Hank McKinney, USN (ret.), author of Flotsam and Jetsam
Gobbell’s exciting fifth Todd Ingram novel (after 2004’s The Neptune Strategy) finds Ingram commanding the destroyer USS Maxwell, which comes under Kamikaze attack off the coast of Japan shortly after the second atomic bomb falls on Nagasaki. Following the Japanese surrender, Ingram thinks the end of the war in the Pacific means an imminent return to his wife and son stateside after years of combat, yet he quickly discovers otherwise. While Ingram’s next assignment is to escort top Japanese military officials and diplomats on a flight to the Philippines to negotiate peace with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his old comrade from Corregidor days, Brig. Gen. Otis DeWitt, has bigger plans for the war-weary commander. DeWitt dispatches him to Sakhalin Island, where the Soviets are preparing to launch an attack on Hokkaido. The heroic Ingram gets involved in plenty of intrigue as he seeks to thwart the Soviet threat. History and military buffs will be well rewarded.
This book is the fifth in the Todd Ingram series though it is not necessary to read them in order. In it as the war with Japan is ending, another foe is apparent as the Cold War begins. Todd Ingram’s background makes him the most likely candidate for a difficult and as it turns out, dangerous assignment so instead of heading for home and family at the end of the war; he finds himself the focus of intrigue, espionage and combat in a frozen place being disputed by a reeling Japan and the Soviet Union. John Gobbell paints a rich picture of U.S. Navy life from an officer’s perspective, reflecting his own navy service. He draws on that knowledge and has researched the time period to produce another enjoyable tale for his many fans. Edge of Valor, like the other books in the Todd Ingram series, puts the reader in the action with vivid descriptions and lifelike dialog. Gobbell provides an undercurrent of the issues of the painful separation from family so familiar to military personnel and especially those who serve at sea. Old issues haunt some of the characters and affect their behavior in ways all too familiar to most veterans and Ingram and his family are not immune to them. Characters familiar to readers of Gobbell’s previous works appear in sometimes new and tangled roles, resulting in unexpected twists as Ingram becomes aware that this post-war situation has become personal—someone is trying to kill him. Any U.S. Navy veteran should appreciate this book but especially the destroyer sailors and I recommend it very favorably.
—Terry Miller, Executive Director, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Book Review-Edge of Valor)
Edge of Valor is John Gobbell at his finest, with a rapidly-paced historical thriller that will have readers turning pages at a furious rate. His portrayal of the war years in the Pacific and on the home front is brilliant and authentic down to the last detail.
August, 1945. The surrender of Japan should have brought a close to the war, and to the need of Commander Todd Ingram’s presence in the Pacific. But when he is called away from his duties aboard the USS Maxwell to go on a top secret mission, he is troubled. He wants nothing more than to go home to his wife in California.
Of what use would the commanding officer of an American destroyer be among a crew of pilots, Marines, and representatives of the state department escorting Japanese dignitaries? What role could he play in dissuading Soviet intentions to occupy not only territory on the mainland, but also the island of Hokkaido? When he sees his Russian contact, all is made clear. This is the very man he had come to call friend years ago in San Francisco. It’s also the very man who tried to have Ingram’s wife killed. With NKVD threats against his life, the prospect of WWIII, and the onset of the Cold War, the world itself seems at stake. And Ingram finds himself in the middle of it.
This is the fifth installment of the Ingram series. I haven’t read the others, but Gobbell does a good job of getting the reader up to speed. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, he is able to bring tremendous insight, information, and authenticity to play in his writing. He obviously loves military life. The novel is full of banter among the ranks, banter between the ranks, and banter between the military branches. His enthusiasm for his characters perhaps shows through too much, and the pacing is a bit off. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read, and it was good to meet the likes of MacArthur and be there for the official surrender ceremony.
—Justin M. Lindsay, Navel Historical Society