Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1942-Robert Conroy

Robert Conroy
Ballantine, Feb 24 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345506078

The success of December 7th, 1941 emboldened by its total success of wiping out Pearl Harbor to include the storage fuel, Admiral Yamamoto sees an opportunity to win the war in the Pacific faster than the German blitzkrieg of France. He sends his Imperial forces on a mission to invade, conquer and occupy the Hawaiian Islands while the Americans are reeling. His army succeeds.

An ailing President Roosevelt tries to keep the morale up, but fears he is failing. The U.S. Army sneak onto the islands intelligence officer Captain Jake Novacek to keep code breaker Commander Joe Rochefort safe; as the latter is a major key in kicking the Japanese off of Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific islands now occupied. Jake is forced to put on hold his camaraderie with and attraction to Widow Alexa Sanderson, whose husband died in the first wave. Using torture, rape and murder along with frightened Quislings to keep the locals in line, Japanese Secret Police chief Colonel Shigenori Omori also makes Alexa his mistress while Roosevelt and the Pentagon plan a counterattack and Jake conducts guerilla operations on the islands.

Once again as he did with 1945, 1901 and 1862, Robert Conroy provides an alternate history focusing on a critical year based on a modification of a pivot point; this time Pearl Harbor and a spin to the aftermath in 1942. The story line is at its most exciting when the action especially Jake’s guerilla activity is the concentration. Intriguingly the more fascinating segments deal with military strategy, but those sections can be dry. 1942 is the latest well written retelling of the War in the Pacific.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: