Title: THE STAMP
Author: Ed Brodow
Good looking, athletic Lieutenant Tommy Courten has a bad guy, good guy personality. Rough and ready to go at a moment’s notice, necessary attributes for the front lines of Vietnam, with a gentle, thoughtful interior that gives him the control and ability to reason, making it possible to live in an ordinary society. He marries but that doesn’t work. He works for IBM, but that company is too confining and controlling. He just doesn’t fit. Though Tommy doesn't really fit the Marines either, he does his best and learns some valuable skills he will soon need. Then his kid sister, Ellen, is killed. Her boyfriend cannot keep her around once she becomes pregnant because he is married. If she had just left him alone, it would not have happened, he theorizes. Tommy must get revenge. The police and military do not seem to be able to do anything because the accused, Private Rodney Zapata, has fled to Bogota. Tommy takes justice into his own hands and flies to Columbia in search of Rodney. There he finds his prey but he also finds Luz from an area called Guajira. Only Luz and her people can save Tommy’s life, not just his physical body but also his heart and soul.
Ed Brodow has written a crisp, intense story about the life of one man, Tommy Courten through the eyes of another, a friend of Tommy’s. This unique treatment gives this novel a sense of intensity as his friend sees Tommy’s life through his own reflections on his life and those of friends and family close to him. Tommy’s friend sees different experiences as “Stamps on the Forehead” of individuals. The Vietnamese War was a stamp on Tommy’s forehead, a time in his life that would change him and not allow him to move forward. Then, as he is trying to do just that, Ellen’s death again forces him back into his old pattern. Only exceptional wisdom and love can change the stamp on Tommy’s forehead.
This is an exceptionally well written story and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.Reviewer: Elaine Fuhr, Allbooks Reviews