Shadow of the Corps: A Novel by James Dupont falls in the category of a thriller. It combines a background of a Marine Corps trial in the past and a serial killer in the present. DuPont is a Marine with twelve years of active duty as a pilot and legal adviser. He is currently a commercial pilot and holds the rank of major in the Marine Corps Reserve. This is his first novel.
Dale Riley fresh out of law school joined the Marines to be a hero. One case will change his life and his career. A Marine is accused of bombing an Afghan village with out authorization, killing seventy eight civilians and five Marines, and Dale, against better advice, chooses to defend the pilot. The main story opens with Dale, his wife, and their son living with Dale’s parents. Dale is unemployed, out of shape, and down on life. Almost by accident he sees an obituary for Marine lawyer, the name is familiar: the prosecuting attorney in the pilot bombing case. Here is where the story takes off. There are plenty of twists and surprises in the book and the pace is constant. As the novel develops, more of the trial and the past are brought to the present.
Contemporary novels are not my usual reading, but occasionally I do take a break from non-fiction or the classics and read a modern novel. The Marine Corps imagery on the cover drew me in as well as the short description of the book.Shadow of the Corps supplies everything I needed. As a former Maine, I appreciated the back-story. The story telling is more than adequate and easily holds the readers interest. It is a good escapist novel, although nothing in it is far fetched even with the twists and turns. It is a good summer read or great read for those who enjoy crime thrillers. It was an enjoyable read.