Saving General Patton
by Robert Corns

"There wasn’t time to think, and Hershey hurled himself onto the killer’s back and wrapped his arms in a death grip around the neck of Karl the assassin."

A military family is at the heart of this novel that takes place just before America enters into World War II. The majority of the story is set in the California desert, where General George S. Patton is in charge of training operations for tank battalions plus the defense of vital areas and facilities in the Western United States. Before the tale has run its course, readers will discover how a trio of rag-tag boys helps foil an assassination attempt on one of the most notable generals in American history.

The central plot centers on pre-teen boys Rob, JJ, and Hershey. The first two are the white sons of a major who has been assigned to Patton’s command and has taken up residence with his family in the tiny outpost of Ludlow. The third is the black son of a local who works for the railroad. They quickly become fast friends. Before you know it, they’re involved in finding dead bodies, losing their way in the desert, uncovering Nazi spy rings, and eventually doing what they can to help General Patton survive a dastardly attempt on his life.

Author Corns moves his story along briskly. His prose is easy to read and devoid of stylistic pretension. His dialogue, especially from the youngsters, sounds like real conversation. Their motivations and behavior ring true as well. In addition to being engaged in an adventurous yarn, readers also learn a lot about military practices and procedures plus steps that were taken to guard against the attack of some of the country’s most important structures such as the Boulder Dam (later renamed the Hoover Dam). In essence, this is an engaging tale for readers young, old, or in-between.

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