Facing the Dragon - Book Review

Book Review of :  Facing the Dragon


Facing the Dragon by Philip Derrick is a Vietnam War mystery thriller about a young man, James Peterson who takes on the identity of a murdered soldier who had been on his way to serve a tour in Vietnam. Peterson, as crazy as it may seem, is only 15 years old when he assumes his new identity. Could a fifteen-year-old boy have the ability to pull off the switch? Yes, one could. In 1968 Dan Bullock, who was only 14, forged his birth certificate and became a marine.  He was killed at age 15 in Vietnam on June 7, 1969. In Derrick’s novel the 15-year-old impersonator does not only take up the identity of a murdered soldier and goes to Vietnam,  but he is also there to find the man who he believes was responsible for the death of PFC Travis Nickels. 

Between fighting Vietcong and sleuthing, Jim Peterson finds his life is full of surprises. Derrick thickens the plot by weaving events that happened back in the forties and just by coincidence are coming to light as a result of Jim’s new identity. Things get even more complicated when the movement of illicit drugs appear to possibly be connected to the murder or to the discoveries about his father’s past.

Jim Peterson, alias Travis Nickels, has a lot on his plate. He has vowed to find the killer, and now he also wants to know why PFC Nickels was killed. He has the name of his primary suspect that he is sure was the killer, but if he finds him, what will he do with him? Will he kill him? Will he turn him over to the authorities or does some of the things discovered causes Jim Peterson just to let the killer go?

If you served in Vietnam, many of the locations and the descriptions of life as a grunt will ring true. Philip Derrick is a Vietnam veteran, so much of what he writes about is quite authentic because he lived it and saw it.  Those who enjoy and seek out infantry stories filled with action will have nothing to complain about with this fine novel. Philip Derrick has done himself proud. He has penned a winner. Get a front row seat to the action, courage, and sacrifice, Derrick puts his cast of characters through in Facing the Dragon.

About Philip Derrick


Philip Derrick was brought up as an Air Force brat before disappointing his father and joining the Army. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and has a Ph.D in Education/History from the University of Idaho. He currently lives in the Cascade Mountains just an hour from Seattle, teaches high school history and watches the deer pass by his living room window on a daily basis. In his study are more than 1,000 books, none of which his spouse allows outside the room since he otherwise leaves them lying around all over the place.

Visit https://www.philipderrick.com for more information on Philip Derrick


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