Few writers show the range of Ralph Peters, this week’s podcast victim. One moment, he analyzes the military situation in Afghanistan. The next, he puts out his next novel.
Even within the world of fiction, he’s always stretching. Traitor provides a glimpse of modern-day Pentagon politics. Readers of The First Assassin may enjoy his Civil War novels, written under the pen name Owen Parry. For what it’s worth, I read the first couple of Parry books without knowing that Parry was a pseudonym. The first in the series is called Faded Coat of Blue. The opening paragraph is pretty good, and it also gives a flavor of the prose style, which is written in the lilt of its Welsh-immigrant narrator, Abel Jones:
A sentry with troubled bowels discovered the body. A shock it must have been for the boy. He fired off his rifle and the Good Lord knows what else, then ran up through the mud and fog to his camp. I do not fault the lad, you understand. A soldier may be brave easily enough with his comrades all about him. But a boy new to service, touched with sickness and with the autumn chill upon him, such a one might be forgiven a wallop of fear when he tumbles over a dead officer in the pursuit of a winkle of privacy.
Next week’s podcast: Bing West on Afghanistan.