Edge of Valor: A Todd Ingram Novel

Written by John J. Gobbell
Review by Justin M. Lindsay

August, 1945. The surrender of Japan should have brought a close to the war, and to the need of Commander Todd Ingram’s presence in the Pacific. But when he is called away from his duties aboard the USS Maxwell to go on a top secret mission, he is troubled. He wants nothing more than to go home to his wife in California.

Of what use would the commanding officer of an American destroyer be among a crew of pilots, Marines, and representatives of the state department escorting Japanese dignitaries? What role could he play in dissuading Soviet intentions to occupy not only territory on the mainland, but also the island of Hokkaido? When he sees his Russian contact, all is made clear. This is the very man he had come to call friend years ago in San Francisco. It’s also the very man who tried to have Ingram’s wife killed. With NKVD threats against his life, the prospect of WWIII, and the onset of the Cold War, the world itself seems at stake. And Ingram finds himself in the middle of it.

This is the fifth installment of the Ingram series. I haven’t read the others, but Gobbell does a good job of getting the reader up to speed. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, he is able to bring tremendous insight, information, and authenticity to play in his writing. He obviously loves military life. The novel is full of banter among the ranks, banter between the ranks, and banter between the military branches. His enthusiasm for his characters perhaps shows through too much, and the pacing is a bit off. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read, and it was good to meet the likes of MacArthur and be there for the official surrender ceremony.