Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Captain Harding and His Men (Captain Harding #2) by Elliott Mackle

Last year I fell in love with Joe Harding's shenanigans in Captain Harding's Six Day War, so of course I picked up the sequel Captain Harding and His Men by Elliott Mackle as soon as it released. I'm so glad because Captain Joe Harding is at it again at Wheelus and this time the story is even better!

It all takes place in 1969 at the Wheelus U.S. Military Air Base in Libya, and while the Vietnam War is going at full force our man Joe is stuck acting as administrator and right hand man to the current a-hole Colonel in charge. Joe barely survived his last adventures, but this time his problems become even more serious when an unscheduled C-130 airplane crashes on the runway and a VIP dies. Having learned that controlling information is the best way to cover his butt, Joe immediately makes sure he has the original flight plan and crew list in his possession, but when paperwork disappears, the CIA is mentioned,  and one of his fellow officers is thrown from a casino tower instigating an investigation by the Pentagon that will end careers, Joe finds himself in trouble up to his adorable little ass! Of course Joe is devious, cunning, manipulative and when not led by his balls to risk life and career, brilliant. He can figure it all out, right?

Unfortunately for Joe fear of being outed as gay in the military is magnified along with the rest of his problems when his unquestionable lack of control and discretion takes over and he sleeps with almost eighteen year-old Cotton while on leave in Gstaad, placing more than his future on the line when they are discovered in a compromising situation. The thought of ending up in Leavenworth worries Joe enough to make him vomit on the flight home, but being young, virile and with a high libido these worries only slow him down, and soon he's back at Wheelus missing Cotton, but making due by going for his regularly scheduled 'rubdown' sessions with buddy Hal, and throughout the story making a couple of new male acquaintances including one that rocks his world!!

I loved this book. In Captain Harding and His Men Elliott Mackle again excels at immediately capturing the reader's attention as well as time and place to develop atmosphere. However, what I love about this series so far is that the military details are outstanding without making the reader yawn with boredom. On the contrary, both stories are fun and funny while still managing to deal with serious issues pertinent to military life during that specific time in history. Joe's voice as narrator is unmistakable, and in this book in particular I think that narration just gets better. Mackle gives readers an idea of what happened in the first book, however I do recommend that Captain Harding's Six Day War be read first for a better understanding, and enjoyment, of this series.

Captain Harding and His Men is a military suspense full of action with an involved mystery and highly amusing moments provided by the narrator's voice. The mystery/suspense is full of twists and turns with both the main and secondary characters contributing fully to advance the plot, making this story a delightful read while providing some exciting and charged moments. Mr. Mackle interlaces Joe's sexual escapades with the suspense and makes them pertinent to the story so that there are no awkward pauses and no real separation between the two. Joe is a memorable character. I laughed with him and at him, and I worried for him too. I did. I ended the story worried about where he's going next, but confident that Joe being Joe will come out smelling like roses. Will there be more Joe? I hope so. :)

Category: LGBT - Historical Mystery/Suspense
Series: Captain Harding
Publisher/Release Date: Lethe Press/May 17, 2012 - Kindle Ed.
Grade: A

Visit Elliott Mackle here.

Series:
Captain Harding Six Day War, #1
Captain Harding and His Men, #2

5 comments:

  1. Thank you, hon, for more kind words about a Lethe release.

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  2. Steve, I'm really enjoying Elliott Mackle's excellent works, and well, Joe is a wonderful character. The first book was great, this one was excellent. Loved it!

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  3. Captain Harding and ex-Captain Mackle salute you. We're so happy you're enjoying our adventures. Thanks for the support.

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  4. My pleasure, Mr. Mackle. Cheers to you and the memorable Captain Harding! Looking forward to reading more of Joe's adventures.

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    Replies
    1. Joe Harding is definitely talking to me. He's post Vietnam and ...

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