Author – Nick Jacobellis
Nick’s book is set in 1945 and takes place in the European Theater of Operations after World War II. The book’s main characters are part of a series of books that have evolved over the past few years. The series is called “The Frontline Fugitives” and it has caught my attention as well as others. Rarely do I venture into this genre of books called historical fiction but for this author and series of books it is certainly warranted.
Overall the author does a great job of detailing the lives, events, criminal acts, theft, and black market operations theme that runs throughout this book. Falling back on his extensive experience with law enforcement and the criminal mind, Nick has produced a fast paced, action packed thriller from cover to cover. Not afraid of some of our most sensitive American issues like racism and elitism, Nick does a great job of portraying the Parker family in the series. The Parker family, father and son, are deeply involved in law enforcement and criminal justice in the US and the European Theater of Operations during and post WWII. Our history reminds us that during this timeframe black American were treated like second class by Americans and western culture. Black soldiers were delegated to the rear areas and not assigned to front line units. For many Blacks, African Americans, the war offered an opportunity to get out of the cycle of crushing rural poverty. Blacks joined the military in large numbers, escaping decades of Depression and tenant farming in the South and Midwest. Yet, like the rest of America in the 1940s, the armed forces were segregated. I won’t spoil the great story for those of you who are anxious to read the book and series, but you will be delighted with the content and context of the story. Compelling reading!
The Army accepted black enlistees but created separate black infantry regiments and assigned white commanders to them. The Army Air Corps’ black fighter wing was completely separate, training at an all-black university at Tuskegee, Alabama. The Navy segregated Negro units and gave them the most menial jobs on ships. And the Marines, at least initially, didn’t even accept African Americans. At every training base, black and white soldiers were kept apart.
When Black, Hispanic, and Native American soldiers returned they found a country that still did not grant them full rights, but a movement for the expansion of civil rights had been born. Some black soldiers who had left farm jobs in the South decided not to return home. Instead, they moved to cities, looking for work that was similar to what they had learned in the armed forces. This movement represented an intensification of the black migration that began around the turn of the century.
Back to the story. The main characters, Jim Beauregard and Al Parker are serving with the US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Paris, France. As soon as they hit the ground in Paris the local CID agents and their French Counterparts are immediately engaged in several major investigations and sting operations involving criminal Army personnel and French civilians. The War Department did not want the folks back home hearing about the black markets operations mainly because these black market items were being rationed in the US and Europe at the time. It would be embarrassing if the American people were adhering to strict ration when a small band of criminals were making a fortune in the black market selling these same items.
A great book for military, military police, CID agents and law enforcement in General. I hope you make the time to read it.
About the author. Nick is a medically retired US Customs Service Senior Special Agent and former Police Officer. Nick has published over 180 magazine articles and 6 books. He was born and raised in Flatbush section of Brooklyn NY and has an BS Degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Book review by Christopher (Moon) Mullins