BUSBY, Roger (Charles). British. Born in Leicester, 24 July 1941. Educated at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School for Boys; Aston University, Birmingham, Certificate in Journalism, 1968. Married Maureen-Jeanette Busby in 1968. Journalist, Caters News Agency, Birmingham, 1959-66, and Birmingham Evening Mail, Force Information Officer, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Exeter, 1973-1996. Lieutenant Commander RNR Marine Society and Sea Cadets, London, 1997-2012.
on July 16, 2015 :
I have some knowledge of PTSD and wanted to see how it was dealt with in fiction. Not all react as Rambo. This tale had a widow , mourning her thrill seeking military husband, meeting a guilt ridden veteran. Many military type acronyms gave a certain flavour to the tale, as if in the mind of the soldier. However I can't see one of the pivotal scenes as being realistic. A deaf Afghanian woman runs towards a group of male British soldiers. She has a note, presumably written in English, not Dari or whatever her language is, otherwise it would not be of use, warning them about a nearby bomb. Someone reads it after she is killed by the Marine who is primed to see her as a potential suicide bomber . He and the authorities learn about the note and politics intervene.
All sorts of mistakes get made in war, affecting both civilian and military, with more or less valid extenuating circumstances.
The ex Marine seems to have been exceptionally badly and underhandedly treated by the British authorities afterwards.
It is unclear if he knows about the on-going punishment or if it is the author giving us third person type information.
The widow seems to have been offered some therapy, and I would have liked the ex Marine to be offered help in dealing with his various trauma.
His job was to protect his fellows when something very strange happened; there was no way for him to know the woman had good intentions. As the Americans say, hindsight is twenty-twenty.
(review of free book)