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Thunder in the Morning Calm

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Thunder in the Morning Calm by Don Brown

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Thunder in the Morning Calm is a journey of tension, depression, exhilaration and sadness."

Don Brown's newest geopolitical thriller, Thunder in the Morning Calm, is one extreme moment followed by a heartwarming moment described with believable dialogue. This title speaks to the harsh realities of current events exploding daily in Libya, Pakistan and Egypt. There is hatred amongst people and nations in these tense times.

The jumping in and out of locales helps propel the multiple storylines forward and the intricacies of the secondary story lines are well crafted. At times, I didn’t appreciate the interruption in the current story line being read, but it did keep me focused on the action. The global hot spots chosen for this storyline were North and South Korea as well as China.

Young naval intelligence officer “Gunner” McCormick never knew his grandfather, who disappeared during the Korea War (1950). Determined to discover the truth behind rumors the North Koreans may still be holding some American POWs . . . and unbeknownst to his superiors, he enlists the help of two retired Special Forces commandos (Jackrabbit and Jung-Hoon) to make it happen. Taking leave from his naval duties, he finances an elaborate and dangerous mission into enemy territory. The only thing they know for sure is this is a “higher risk than potential reward” mission.

Like the author's earlier works, the plot is tightly wound, deliberately developed and passionately patriotic! The underground church in China is highlighted in a supporting role, which stirred a prayer within me for my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Killings are to be expected in this genre of fiction but it is not glorified one iota. A clash of value systems is explored. Evil is evil and that’s simply the hard truth! The story transitions fast once the mission concludes, but not as completely as I anticipated. Be prepared . . . the ending is an emotional whopper.

Being a visual reader, his inclusion of geographical maps, specific to the particular moment, enhances the story immensely. I found myself desiring more history on the Korean War.

Thunder in the Morning Calm is a journey of tension, depression, exhilaration and sadness. The oft forgotten Korean War and its heroes are brought into the limelight. Courage, determination, honor and love for the family are the foundational themes within these pages.

Whether you are a military fan or not, Don Brown’s newest is definitely worth reading!


Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.