Summary and book reviews of The Advocate by Bill Mesce Jr.

The Advocate

A Novel of World War II

by Bill A. Mesce Jr., Steven G. Szilagyi

The Advocate
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 306 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2001, 336 pages

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Book Summary

Seamlessly blends military intrigue, relentless suspense, and a baffling mystery.

A novel that seamlessly blends military intrigue, relentless suspense, and a baffling mystery, The Advocate is a harrowing account by two master storytellers who dare to imagine what can really happen in the fire of war, where good and evil aren't always what they seem. Here one man must pierce the military's impenetrable wall of silence to prove that even in the midst of a world war, murder is still a crime.

The Advocate

On a chalky bluff overlooking the windswept English Channel, an old man watches a horrifying spectacle unfold. Within a matter of seconds, one American P-47 Thunderbolt fires on another, mercilessly driving the crippled plane into the sea. And the old man, his cottage strafed, barely escapes with his life. The year is 1943: The Russians have defeated Hitler at Stalingrad. North Africa has fallen to the Allies. And the Americans, after two disastrous years, are winning the war in the Pacific. Now, in England, American fliers wage a bitter air war against the Luftwaffe. But what really happened in the skies above the Channel is something no one--least of all the military--is prepared to have revealed.
To find out the truth, the Judge Advocate's office calls on a brilliant, cynical, homesick lawyer. The last thing Harry Voss wanted was a case that had every indication of becoming a political powder keg. But Harry, a man of honor, cannot turn his back on the possibility that the incident over the Channel may not have been an accident--but an act of cold-blooded murder. Harry has no idea what he is getting into. For his investigation will lead through a labyrinth of military politics, where ambitious, powerful men guard their turf and soldiers guard their secrets with an unbreakable code of silence. For Harry, the case becomes his own personal war, as he uncovers a series of murderous events that detonate up the chain of command. He only wants justice for a crime. And he is willing to risk his own career and life to get it, as he begins a dangerous journey into the dark heart of war. It is here that Harry Voss will dare to enter a world where heroes are killers, wrong becomes right, and even angels must dip their wings into the fire of hell itself.

THE OLD MAN'S RITUAL WAS UNCHANGING. Each morning he brewed his tea from a tin of faded leaves and took a biscuit, fresh-cooked the night before but now crusty, from the bun warmer on the stove. He sat hunched over his tea and biscuit, at the scuffed table he'd built himself back in the days when the lumber he'd cut had seemed as light and limber in his hands as child's clay.

The mutt sat eager and panting at his feet in his own morning canon, envious eyes glued to the food in the old man's hand.

When there was but one bite left to the biscuit, the old man paused to study the morsel reflectively. This was the dog's cue to stand, wagging his tail frantically, bright eyes locked on the treat. The old man looked from the dog to the biscuit and back to the dog, as if weighing some great decision. Then, he leaned over, he and his chair creaking together, and held the biscuit over the dog's head.

The old man raised one finger, and the dog, knowing his ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Virtually certain to be one of the year's big hits (and a strong movie candidate), this beautifully crafted WWII thriller starts with a bang and rarely falters on its path toward gloomy enlightenment about the moral quagmires of war.

Library Journal

...the reader is left with a sense of the reality of war and how ideals can go wrong enough to make a proud moment in time a double-edged sword. Give this one an A+ and buy it for all fiction collections where readers want something more substantial than just a good tale.

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Bill Chapman

Excellentr reading--hard to put down. Very historically accurrate.

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