Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Laurie R. King's Keeping Watch

INCREDIBLE!! After reading Folly, I didn't believe Laurie King could possibly top herself, but it seems I was proven wrong with Keeping Watch. From the atrocities of the Vietnam War to the peacefulness of a Montana farm, Ms. King takes you on a psychological and poignant journey that will have you engrossed.

Allen Carmichael wanted more. He wanted adventure and experience, and he found it in the jungles of Vietnam where he went from a quotidian teenager to a man dealing with the atrocities of war.
That was not the whole of it, either. Allen looked up from Streak's slack features to another face startling in it's contrast, a face so contorted in pain and fear that he failed for a moment to recognize it. Farmboy Pete, helmet tipped back from that blond and tousled head, legs in the water, freckles stark against skin gone monstrously pale. he was trying to get his hands onto his belly where the medic was working; Two men were struggling to hold his wrists while Pete writhed and gulped for air, his eyes locking on to Allen as if to a life ring. Allen splashed over to his side, and one of the bloody hands shot away from its keeper to grab Allen's arm.

"don't leave me, Carmichael, don't leave me here."

Nobody's going to leave you, Farmboy, you're safe now. the medic's going to patch you up and it's off to the hospital with you, nice, clean sheets and plenty to eat, all those pretty nurses, don't worry." Nonsense phrases poured out, nonsense because it did not seem possible for a man to lose that much blood and survive to the medevac's arrival. "can't you give him some morphine?" he asked the medic.

"Any more might kill him."

Years later, after many years of living in disconsolation, Allen is ready to pick up the pieces as he realizes his very specialized soldier's skills could be put to good use as a professional kidnapper helping abused children escape the suffering that encompasses their daily lives. When Allen meets Jamie, a 12 year boy who claims his father is going to kill him, he knows the boy will be his last job. Soon however, Jamie's father's plane crashes and evidence is revealed that makes Allen wonder, if possibly, it's really the other way around. It seems this one last rescue is not going to be as simple as Allen originally thought.

Keeping Watch


seana said...

Oh, man. I really do have to get to this one.

Glad you liked it.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

The excellent excerpt, plus your strong endorsement have convinced me that I must read this. Is it linked to "Folly", or is it a standalone?

Glenna said...

Seana, I really did like it, and it's one of those books that has you hooked right from the start and never lets up.

Sean, It's mostly a stand alone. It's only connected in that, if you read Folly first, you recognize some of the very minor characters and a place he visits, and Allen is a minor character in Folly. I'd say it could be done either way.

seana said...

Glenna and Sean, I don't know if this is a sexist presumption or not, but Ithink Folly has a particular appeal to women because it's a lot to do with empowerment. So it might be fun for Sean to do it in reverse order. But I don't think the order really matters either.

Glenna said...

I was thinking along similar lines Seana. Folly seems much more of a female sort of book. Both are very engrossing though.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Thanks for the advice and Keeping Watch is now on my TBR list. Right now, as the only male member of my company's book club(trying to recruit a few guys)I'm going to start reading "The art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein". Either of you read it?

Glenna said...

I haven't but I've wondered about it since I see it everywhere. Let me know how it is and if it's worth reading.

seana said...

I haven't read it Sean, but I have heard good things about it.