Snowflakes in July by Warren Bell

Snowflakes in July by Warren Bell Purchase:

    Snowflakes in July has exciting aerial combat scenes, political assassinations, terrorist bombings, high-stakes commando operations, hostage abuse, and torrid romance.

    Flash back to the violent 1970s. Domestic terrorist bombs explode in the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill, at New York police stations, and on military bases. Prominent moderate leaders are being assassinated. And now a New Left terrorist group more radical than the Weather Underground or the Symbionese Liberation Army has a highly placed mole in the Pentagon!

    The mole electrifies the terrorist high command with details of weaknesses in the storage of Navy nuclear weapons. Elated, the group prepares for a commando raid to steal some of the warheads and force the government to transform the United States into a Marxist society. Back in the Pentagon, Navy Captain Mike Duquesne, a former Vietnam POW, becomes suspicious of the mole and launches a secret investigation. He enlists the aid of Leslie Thomas, a Navy staff lawyer.

    Alerted by her inquiries, the terrorists target her for blackmail with photos a youthful indiscretion. Luring her to their Virginia hideout, they force her to further incriminate herself under the cryptic codename, “Headmistress.”

    Will Mike’s investigation uncover the plot to steal nuclear weapons before the terrorist can mount their raid? And what indignities await Leslie at the hands of the radicals in the meantime?

    Snowflakes in July has exciting aerial combat scenes, political assassinations, terrorist bombings, high-stakes commando operations, hostage abuse, and torrid romance.

    Review by ZS:

    Warren Bell
    Warren Bell

    A fan of this author and historical fiction in general, I picked Snowflakes in July with great expectation. And I must say, disappointed I was not! In fact, this novel competes to be one of the most riveting reads I read either by this author or by any other throughout this year.

    The United States of the sixties is not a quiet place, not with so many movements of social nature brimming all over universities and schools. Some has justified cases of racial or gender equality, prepared to battle the convention with ‘conventional’ means.

    Some are more radical, with their members, especially the leading ones, believing in goals that justify the means to reach it. After the end of the Vietnam War, many such social activists returned to their regular lives, having made some growing along the way.

    But the truly radical people of the Movement didn’t. No averted at committing crimes, violent and otherwise, those people kept operation inside USA, now more gang-members-like in their attitude and means. There were always plenty of ‘useful idiots’, was those leaders rightful conclusion, so they made use of the naive men and women – especially women! – those who still believed or were responsive to a quick brainwashing.

    Thus the PGB of this novel was created, a very secretive cell of ‘revolutionaries’ with their leaders being as ruthless as unscrupulous, and extremely dedicated (to their own private benefits as well).

    And into this reality enters Mike Duquesne, a Navy Captain and a former Vietnam War’s POW, returning to Pentagon, ready to contribute to his country in more office-like ways. Still his nose and this of some others sniff the mole, or someone they suspect, a member of PGB indeed, very deeply buried. It is this mole’s information that allowed the terrorists to ‘raid’ various Nave bases, gathering weaponry, his planning that allowed them play with ideas of the final ultimate strike.

    Leslie Thomas, a beautiful vital and energetic Navy staff lawyer is caught in the storm soon enough too, when Mike asks her to gather the information on his suspected mole, something her position allows her to do. The love blossoms between these two, but Lesley’s ‘sniffing around’ puts her in a terrible danger.

    This novel kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time. Fast-paced and dynamic, full of lively fascinating characters from both sides of the ‘struggle’, this read captivated me and wouldn’t let me go. I grew so attached to the characters, I found myself wishing there was a sequel to this story, even though it was rounded up perfectly, in the most satisfactory way.

    All in all, I highly recommend this read!

    Review by C. Hatfield:

    You remember your first novel you love, the one where you just couldn’t put it down until the back cover was reached. The one where 200 pages or more get devoured in a single sitting. It’s novels like that where you look forward to the next installment. For me, that was a Tom Clancy novel in the early 90s. I don’t remember which one it was, and it isn’t important. They were the ones in his prime, and I enjoyed them like no others.

    For me, Warren Bell is an author in that mold. I was frankly stunned by his initial effort, and his follow-on books have kept up that high standard. In this one he deals with Vietnam and it’s immediate aftermath, both there and at home in a plot that combines what I think is the best of the historical fiction genre: outrageous enough to keep you glued to the page, but plausible enough where you start Googling names and places to see what was actually going on.

    This is the third novel of Mr. Bell’s that I’ve read, and I’ve greatly enjoyed each one. I apparently missed the last one about Vietnam, and need to go grab that one. He has sent me a copy of this digitally in exchange for an unbiased review, and I gladly accepted. These are a series of books that I look forward to reading, and clear my schedule for an opportunity to be completely immersed. If I had one complaint about the book, is that I was hoping for it to be longer. But perhaps I immersed myself in it so much time passed differently.

    In each of the books, you become attached to the characters with their detail and humanity. Even the bad guys are developed adequately enough to really be rooting for a positive outcome. The author’s life experience shines through, you can really tell that this is a man who knows what he is talking about.

    The terminology in this book is about just right in the context of the story – there is a good bit up front in the Vietnam setting, but it flows with the story very well after that. At times with some books you can feel hit over the head with all the inside baseball stuff, but this book is pretty good in that regard.

    If you enjoy military/historical fiction, these are the books to give a shout. I recommend them to my friends and family, and I recommend them to you.