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The Thin Wall: A POW/MIA Truth Novel Paperback – January 16, 2014
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"The tragedy of the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia is well-demonstrated in this book. I recommend it."
David Willson book review
- Senator Bob Smith
Former Congressman and U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1985-2003)
"Exposes bits of truth and reality about the suppressed saga ofun-repatriated American Prisoners of War."
- Chip Beck
Ex-POW Special Investigator
About the Author
R. Cyril West studied Arabic and International R. Cyril West writes about the POW/MIA issue. His first novel, The Thin Wall, received the B.R.A.G. Medallion Award for fiction. His forthcoming novel, Some Never Forget, will be released on April 27, 2017. He lives in Happy Valley, Oregon, with his Wife and Children. powmiatruth.com
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This story is supposed to be based on facts: namely, that the United States has deliberately left some POWs behind and not negotiated for them for political reasons. There is a forward from a retired military officer attesting to the great possibility of this occuring.
I found the author doing a fantastic job with give you some brief historical facts about the invasion, a map of the area of Russia in relation to Czechoslovakia. He even provided a preface with all the characters of the book and who they were specifically in relation to the book and their storyline. The author did such a great job of weaving very well how the Russians did invade Mersk, the small town in the story and how obsession and tyrannical Col Dal tried to change the belief system of the people of Mersk to belief in the Communist and Lenin-ism way of life. It shows passion and courage from Anya Sahhat to stand up to the communist rule to try and get Col. Dal out of their small town so that Mersk can once again experience the freedom they once had. The author wrote beautifully on how the relationships between them were even more solidified once the invasion had taken place to fight the oppression of the Russian Invasion and Colonel Dal and his army.
I personally never knew that Vietnam POW's were being transported to Russia and Central Europe. Since I do read more non-historical books, my interest was piqued as to what was the Russian's motives of taking Prisoners of War from Southeast Asia, where they being used as propaganda against the American government? Were weapons being traded for the POW's ? It left me questioning in some regards but I am sure that is from the typical factual reading that I am used to versus historical fiction. Even though there are factual elements in the story their is a fictional story line that the author uses to keep the readers interest.
My suggestion to the author is to give an explanation of the abbreviations concerning the Russian intelligence agencies like the KGB, GRU and NKVD for example. I have no idea what they stand for with the exception of a KBG agent. I also suggested to the author that a small explanation about the philosophy of Marxism, Communism, and Lenin-ism would help the reader who may not be familiar with those concepts to get a general feel for the motivating factor why Russia was hell-bent in taking prisoners of war.
I was getting a little concerned when not much was being mentioned about the POW's until toward the end of the book so I didn't know what the author's main focus was the story line of the invasion or as the subject matter about the POW's. and I wish there had been more details of how they were transported to Russia. Even though that is mentioned a little toward the end of the book but I would like to see more detail. The chapters leading to the end were so suspenseful I was getting so excited to find out what would happen next. The author has an unique way of creating a small crescendo into an epic ending. It definitely wasn't what I expected!
I loved the book and how the author took some very detail facts and brought to our attention not only were their POW's in Korea, WWII, and Vietnam they also had a fate in Russia and Central Europe. It has now created a desire in me to continue my education in this subject and help the cause of trying to bring light that these men need to come home so that loved ones can have closure and our country who abandoned their men can find some redemption for their unacceptable and disrespectful act against the soldiers themselves and the American people. The soldiers fought for the American's freedom and put their lives on the live they deserve to come home.
I was struck by the mere fact that we did really learn more about the POW's that were in the storyline, though they are mentioned briefly in the beginning but it isn't till the end of the book to you get a slight glimpse on how they were transported to Eastern Europe. That mere tidbit didn't deter me from finishing the book because the last few chapters kept me on the edge of my seat. I could see how the author wanted an explosive and epic ending and it indeed dramatic make it dramatic. The other key component for me is I could connect with each character and the story line and how all the characters relationships intertwined. Another surprise for me in the book is how one character had a double life that really made the story like a mystery and kept you guessing as to what their real purpose in terms of his role of living in this small town.
I highly recommend this book as a great way to understand of what the invasion of Russia into Czechoslovakia was about despite the fact it is historical fiction. You could also increase your knowledge by doing research such as I and how the long term regime of Communism wore down the morale of the towns people. If can way for the reader to know plan to do and how the American prisoners of war were targets to be sent to camps or used as a political card in the struggle for world dominance. Despite the fact, this is historical fiction some basic facts that are interwoven in the storyline and you have to use your imagination of what this would really looks like in today's world but it's not hard to do with this fantastic book.
I love the book so much it will be going into my personal collection of books that I keep and its have quite a special meaning! I hope this honest review let's you know that it is a great read and if will open your eyes to the problem of finding our men in service that need to come home for closure of a terrible cover up and for the families alike. I would even read this many more times because I have come to love it that much. The author gives a small glimpse into the overdue injustice to the soldiers that gave their lives to our country who prides itself on freedom. I give this book and the author a thumbs up and can's wait to read his next next novel!
I have always felt a bit Bohemian myself, and was right at home in the pages of this story. Anyone affected by war knows that love always plays a part, whether romantic, familial, or for country. I found the characters in the book reflected those realities, stealing romance when possible, concern by parents of how occupation affects their children more so than themselves, and the reluctance of a ranking foreign soldier who misses his own home and finds himself in an impossible situation.
The underlying plot of our missing servicemen from WWII, Korea and Vietnam was profound in its possibility. The nagging question many of us have felt over the years has now been given light and this novel makes me want to explore this painful issue further.
I couldn't turn the pages of The Thin Wall quickly enough and only wish it hadn't ended so soon! More, Mr. West, More!