A Vietnam War novel about a young soldier and his Special Ops Unit controlled by a rogue CIA Agent
Book #1 of The Gomorrah Principle Series, Melody Hill is an outstanding Vietnam War novel, and the story of Duff Coleridge. A young man from the misty mountains of Tennessee, Duff would have chosen his hometown of Melody Hill over heaven any day. Yet it was these beautiful mountains that claimed the life of his father, leaving Duff searching for a way to help support his family. Knowing his only chance for a better life is to leave home and join the military, Duff becomes a paratrooper and soon finds himself on the way to the Vietnam War.
Quickly proving himself a natural warrior, he rapidly develops his reputation with a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol unit, until he’s recruited into the shadowy world of black ops. Too late, he discovers his CIA boss is more rogue than company man. And when a mysterious French-Vietnamese woman approaches Duff, he becomes trapped in a dangerous web of love, lies, and intrigue. Should he trust his dubious leader’s assessment of this beautiful woman as a potential Vietcong spy, or should he trust his own instincts? Knowing that either decision could lead him into a deadly trap, Duff races to determine the truth before it’s too late.
A Vietnam War novel that is widely compared to the likes of Tim O’brien’s, The Things They Carried and John Del Vecchio’s The 13th Valley, Melody Hill will not disappoint. Expertly crafted with historical accuracy and the author’s real-life military experiences, Melody Hill is an excellent Vietnam War Novel and military fiction at its best, challenging espionage thrillers as well as military romance books with its broad appeal. You don’t want to miss this thrilling prequel to Rick DeStefanis’s award-winning novel, The Gomorrah Principle, one of the best Vietnam War stories ever published.
Take a journey to Vietnam by way of Melody Hill May 6, 2015
By Carol Carlson
Format: Kindle Edition
Driving to work this past Monday, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been away for a long time, like on an extended trip to some exotic place. I felt disconnected to everything around me. But I had not been anywhere. In fact, I’d spent the weekend at home reading Melody Hill. That’s when I realized that it was Vietnam I was thinking about. I felt like I’d been there, and now needed to readjust to being home and going to work. All day my mind would drift, wondering what was happening to Duff, Roland, and the rest of the guys back in Vietnam.
Okay, perhaps I was losing my mind. But this is how realistic Rick DeStefanis’s writing feels. At the time, I was only halfway through the book, and it was difficult to pull myself out of the story and go about my normal life. I’d say that’s a rare kind of writing talent, since I’m not commonly known to confuse my suburban life with the sweltering jungles of Vietnam, circa 1967.
As the prequel to Rick’s first novel, The Gomorrah Principle, Melody Hill is the satisfying answer to all that was previously uncertain or unexplained, introducing the characters as they are just becoming the people we came to know in the original story. This is exactly the ‘back story’ a prequel should be. But this one is so much more. In its own right, Melody Hill is a war story (much more so than The Gomorrah Principle), it’s a love story – two love stories actually, it’s a coming of age, finding your way, good vs evil, who do you trust, band of brothers, family loyalty, searching for truth kind of story. It is compelling and completely captivating, with enough transitions between Army Specialist Duff Coleridge in Vietnam and his younger foster brother, Brady Nash, and his sister, Lacey Coleridge, back home in the East Tennessee mountains to appeal to a wide audience.
Perhaps a word of caution, however. This was the Vietnam War, and the realism of the book does not stray far from the harsh realities of that time and place.
Today I was finally able to return to the book and having now finished the story, I think I can go back to work and get on with the reality of my everyday life without further confusion. But I do hope you’ll take your own journey to Vietnam by way of Melody Hill. I think you’ll enjoy the trip!
you always get great writing. That writing makes you feel as if … May 1, 2015
By Ellen Morris Prewitt
Format: Kindle Edition
From the first sentence of Melody Hill—”Duff Coleridge stood over a freshly killed deer, one he hadn’t meant to kill.”—you know things will not proceed as expected. With author Rick DeStefanis, you always get great writing. That writing makes you feel as if you’re in Vietnam, living the dangers along with Duff. We’re there when Duff meets the gorgeous Lynn Dai Bouchet (“a woman as beautiful and complicated as the country she called her own.”) and the evil Spartan. Duff quickly finds himself entangled in something he doesn’t understand, where he must navigate not just the dangers of combat, but the traps of corruption and betrayal as well.
For those who have read The Gomorrah Principle, Melody Hill is an opportunity to again spend time with Brady and Lacey, getting to know their relationship better. For those new to the series, after reading Melody Hill, you’ll want to quickly run out and find The Gomorrah Principle to keep the story going.
Thoroughly enjoyed it! May 4, 2015
Having read The Gomorrah Principle a few weeks ago, I was delighted to find that Rick DeStefanis has completed the prequel to it. Melody Hill recounts the story of Duff Coleridge and the swirling web of truths and lies that define the U.S. participation in the Vietnam war. Duff’s unintentional venture into the corruption that existed amid that “war on communism” parallels the manner in which evil often lies its way into the lives of “good” people. The contrasts seen in the life of Melody Hill and the hamlets of Vietnam add tension as the plot unfolds to reveal how completely foreign this warring country is to Duff, yet his ability to see some of the people he meets as honest and true men show his acceptance of the Vietnamese people as equals whose lives have value.
I thoroughly enjoyed Melody Hill as well as The Gomorrah Principle and look forward to this Mississippi writer’s next fictional adventure.
DeStefanis hits it out of the park… May 4, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
It Is always hard to write a sequel as good as the first and a prequel is even harder, but DeStefanis delivers a great read. Even though he had to write within the time constraints of The Gomorrah Principle, he delivers a great back story to Duff, one of the original characters and does so with believability and that is something I pick apart in most thrillers. If it is not believable then I lose interest, but this book really details the early days with multiple story lines and most of all, we find out just how Duff finds his way, for better or worse. His vivid descriptions make it easy for the reader to imagine the surroundings as if you are there and you can really connect with the characters. Even though this series is listed as military thrillers, the story is about more. It’s about life, morals, devotion and love. You won’t regret this book. I actually read it twice. Job well done..
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