Friday, July 23, 2010

a review of "In The Name Of Honor" [55]

In The Name of Honor by Richard North Patterson
Henry Holt and Co., ISBN 978-0805087741
June 29, 2010, 416 pages

The ties that bind the McCarrans and the Gallaghers go back for decades. General Anthony McCarran, on the fast track to be made head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was best friends with John Gallagher and was with him when John was killed in Vietnam. When some years later his own wife died, leaving two small children, Brian and Meg, it was only natural that the two McCarran children and the slightly older Kate Gallagher should grow up rather as siblings, with Rose Gallagher as a second mother, taking care of the children when Anthony was away from home on duty.

Now, it is years later and young Brian has followed his father into the Army infantry. In fact, his commanding officer in Iraq was Captain Joe D'Abruzzo, the husband of Kate. Both men have now returned from their tour overseas, but both have returned changed men. Joe is distant from his family, drinking a great deal, at times violent. Brian is doing his best to appear as if everything is normal but he is awaken nightly from terrible nightmares and can barely function during the day. Then, in the event that will be key to the story, Brian shoots and kills D'Abruzzo. He claims it was self defense, but the prosecution soon uncovers some facts that paint a very different story.

Since this will be a high profile case, the JAG appoints one of their best, Captain Paul Terry for the defense, and he is soon joined in the defense by Brian's sister Mag, now a lawyer. The stakes involved are huge, for all the families involved, for the military and, of course, for Brian, who is accused of a cold blooded murder. The outcome will reach to the heart of this big, intertwined 'family'.

There were a few things I liked about this book. The description of the men's combat experiences, thought much briefer than they might have been, were well done. Captain Terry, who, as the defense attorney, is the central character of the book, is interesting and appealing enough. From there it was, for me, pretty much down hill.

Most of the other charters are painted with broad, shallow strokes and are very hard to ever connect with. And no one, except Terry, is very likable. These people are very short on the honor mentioned in the title and very, very big on lies. CYA is the central theme in this crowd and I missed exactly where the honor was involved. The story is not terribly unique and is told in a very repetitive way. Brian tell the story. The defense questions the story. The defense presents the same story. The prosecution presents the same story, yet again, with a slightly different twist. I kept waiting for the big reveal, the big surprise that would turn it all around...and it never came.

Ok, there was a Big Surprise at the end and as you may know I usually love a Big Surprise, one last great twist, at the end of a book. But not this time. This one was so unbelievable, so out of the blue, that it left me shaking my head.
Sadly, for me this book was a thriller that was not very thrilling, a courtroom drama pretty light on the drama. This one just never grabbed me.

My thanks to Henry Holt for a ARC of this book.


  1. Sorry to hear that this one left you cold and that the ending was disappointing! I thought this would be one The Big Guy would like. Guess not.
    Have a great week, Caite.

  2. I love twists too. Too bad this one turned out too bizarre!

  3. Did Patterson actually write this book or is this one of the books he farmed out for someone else to write using his name? I've never been able to go near a Patterson book since that whole mess was revealed. You're brave, in my book, for even trying.

  4. Too bad ... it sounded like it could have been a good one.

    I read a few books by this author and I never really got into them and stopped reading him.

  5. this is the second of his books I read, having reviewed Eclipse awhile back. I was not thrilled with the other, although I thought it was better than this one.
    Maybe is just not my cuppa tea.


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!