Whatever it takes, just come home to me. Promise me, Sam.
In eight months, Staff Sergeant Sam Brown will become a father. But first, he has to survive his fourth tour in Iraq. On his last night home, he tries to pretend that everything is fine, that the war is fine, that his life is fine.
But as he returns to the war zone, things are anything but fine and the promise he made to his fiancé takes on a desperate edge. As things spiral down, Sam starts to wonder about that promise.
How high is the price he will pay when the long night comes to an end?
On this Memorial Day, I found nothing more fitting than to review this book by Jessica Scott.This is a powerful, emotional book. One that delves into the mind of a soldier both at home and deployed.
I was drawn into this story from the first page and read it in one sitting. I had to know how things turned out. From the heart-wrenching goodbye at the airport, through the flights to the base I felt I was with Sam, feeling everything he felt.
The angst, the conflicts within, the losses, every single scene was vivid even those within Sam’s mind. Even the mission that went FUBAR. Here is a scene from that mission a favorite of mine.
“They can’t just leave us out here, can they?” Major Whitman’s voice held an edge of something not quite panic.
Sam was unprepared for the violence of his own reaction. “You fucking coward,” he spat.
“I’m in charge of this operation,” Whitman said.
“And you’ve done an admirable job of fucking things up for us so far. How about you let the adults pick up and run with things now that you’ve broken all your toys?” Sam snapped.
“I don’t appreciate your tone, Sergeant,” Major Whitman said.
The attempt at pulling rank pushed Sam over the edge. He didn’t think. Didn’t consider the consequences. He lifted his weapon, thumbed the selector switch from “safe” to “semi” and fired.
It was quite possibly the dumbest thing he’d ever done. The round could have ricocheted off the walls, but instead it was absorbed by the soft metal of the coffee pot.
Everyone in the room hit the deck.
Sam fought the strongest urge to point his weapon at the major. It was all he could do to force himself to lower it. He wanted to drive the butt of his weapon into his fucking skull. Instead, he flicked his weapon onto “safe” as he lowered it. He jammed his index finger at the ruined silver bullet. “Your coffee pot cost me a truck. We could be heading back to base right now if it wasn’t for your stupid officer tricks.”
“I’ll have your ass court-martialed over this.”
“I think it’ll take a hell of a lot more than killing a coffee pot to get me court-martialed.” Sam stepped into the bigger major’s face and prayed, prayed, the man would swing on him so he could bust his teeth in. “I’ve got a fiancée at home with a baby on the way. I want to go home to them and I’ll be fucked if I’m going to sit back and let your coffee pot change that.” He pivoted toward the stairs. “Get the fucking antenna back up and get a truck hooked up to it.”
He walked out before he did anything else stupid.
Like actually shoot an officer.
Scott, Jessica. The Long Night: A Novel of Suspense (Kindle Locations 1632-1648).
This is a very intense, psychological book. I loved everything about it. Jessica you have a unique gift for bringing the hard truths to life. Thank you.
5 Contented Purrs for Jessica!
Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.
She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.
She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.
She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a PhD in sociology.
She’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.