Excerpt from Secret Honor by W.E.B. Griffin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Secret Honor

by W.E.B. Griffin

Secret Honor
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 497 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2000, 624 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Not the truth, not about how he'd tried to bail out but had been too close to the ground and his 'chute hadn't opened; not that he'd been seen trying and failing to get out of the cockpit through a sheet of flame blowing back from the engine; not about how he'd tried to land his shot-up airplane and blew it, and rolled over and over down the runway in a ball of flame and crushed aluminum. Or that they really didn't know what the fuck had happened to him, he just hadn't come back; and later some tank crew had found the wreckage of his Mustang with him still in the cockpit, the body so badly burned they couldn't tell if he had been killed in the air or died when his plane hit.

He didn't have to type the letters, either. The first sergeant just took one from the file and retyped it, changing the name. But Archie had to sign it, because he was now the Old Man and that's what was expected of him.

And he was always getting bullshit pep talks from some major or light colonel at Group that he was supposed to pass down the line.

Like what he remembered now, staring down at the Kraut staff car:

"Dooley, what interdiction means is that you and your people are supposed to engage whatever you come across, like one fucking Kraut with a rifle, one motorcycle messenger, not pass him by to go looking for a railroad locomotive, or something you think is important, or looks good when you blow it up. The motorcycle messenger is probably carrying an important message. Otherwise he wouldn't be out there. You take out a Kraut staff car, for example, you're liable to take out an important Kraut officer. Interdict means everything that's down there. You read me, Captain?"

"Yes, Sir."

"And pass the word to your people, and make sure they read you, and read you good."

"Yes, Sir."

And Archie had passed the word, and gotten dirty looks.

And now there was a Mercedes staff car down there, and it wasn't like being in a dogfight, it was like running over a dog with your car; but you had to do it because you had told your people they had to do it, and Archie believed that an officer should not order anybody to do what he wouldn't do himself.

Archie banked his Mustang steep to the right, lined up on the cloud of dust boiling out under the wheels of the Mercedes, and when he thought he had him, closed his finger on the trigger on the joystick. When he saw his tracer stream converge on the Mercedes and he didn't have to correct, he thought he was getting pretty good at this shit.

The Mercedes ran off the road, turned over, and burst into flames. Maybe a couple of bodies had flown out of the Mercedes, but Archie couldn't be sure, and he didn't go back for a second look, because if he did and saw somebody running, he wasn't going to try to get him.

He leveled off at about 500 feet and started looking for something else to interdict.

And at 2105 hours that night, at Afrika Korps General Hospital #3, near Carthage, Tunisia, the chief surgeon and hospital commander, Oberst-Arzt (Colonel-Doctor) Horst Friederich von und zu Mittlingen, pushed his way through the tent flap of the tent euphemistically called "Operating Theater Three" and reached beneath his bloodstained surgical apron for a package of cigarettes.

The hospital's name implied something far more substantial than the reality. General Hospital #3 (which served the Tenth Panzer Division) was a sprawling collection of tents and crude sheds, most of them marked with red crosses to protect against bombing or strafing. The tents served as operating theaters, the sheds as wards. Both were covered with the dust raised by the trucks and ambulances - and sometimes horse-drawn wagons - bringing in the wounded and dying.

Von und zu Mittlingen was a fifty-two-year-old Hessian trained at Marburg and Tübingen. Before the war, he had been professor of orthopedic surgery at St. Louise's Hospital in Munich.

Excerpted from Secret Honor, by W. E. B. Griffin. © January 10, 2000 , W. E. B. Griffin used by permission of the publisher. No part of this book can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.