Fade to Blackby Jeffrey Wilson
In this other world, Jack is a high school science teacher, husband, and devoted father to
Jack is a young man caught between two terrifying worlds. In one, he is Marine Sergeant Casey Stillmam, locked in combat in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq. He is lying next to his dead and dying friends, bleeding in the street - until he wakes up at home, in bed with his wife.
In this other world, Jack is a high school science teacher, husband, and devoted father to his little girl. But the nightmares of war continue to haunt him, and to Jack/Casey they feel in many ways more real than his life at home with his family.
When news of killed Marines in Fallujah surface, Jack realizes he knows far more about these men then he should. But, when the dead Marines begin visiting him while he is awake-he realizes he is in serious trouble.
Faced with the possibility of losing his mind, or far worse, the nightmares being real, Jack knows he must somehow find a way to bridge the two realities and fight his way back from the nightmares to save his wife and little girl.
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)
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Reviewed by Denise Stern for Readers' Favorite Fade to Black is an intense, fast-paced novel written by author Jeffrey Wilson. It starts off with a bang and maintains the intensity of emotion, confusion, and turmoil throughout. The story opens with Marine Sergeant Casey Stillman as he’s hunkered down in a precarious shelter while American troops battle insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq. He and his men are pinned down, their situation dire, when Casey, attempting to save the life of one of his men, is shot. Jack, a high school teacher, wakes up from a terrifying nightmare, so real he can’t believe it didn’t happen. He dreamed he was Sergeant Stillman, and wakes in his bedroom, confused and off kilter. The dream seemed so real. That’s only the beginning of a seemingly endless nightmare as Jack not only continues to dream of dying in the Iraqi desert, but also begins to see and speak to the apparent ghosts of several of the men in his unit, imploring him to re-join them. Is Jack losing his mind, or is there something more sinister about his virtual dreams that propel him into another location with such intensity that he can feel, taste, and smell the sand of Iraq? The reader is swept into a maelstrom along with Jack as he strives to discover the truth. Author Jeffrey Wilson has created a three-dimensional character in Jack/Casey, effectively transporting the reader into the life of a teacher with a family and toddler one minute, and into the gritty, tough Marine fighting for his life in Fallujah the next. Excellent narrative, effective dialogue and an intensely paced novel make for a can’t-put-down book with Fade to Black.
Jack Keller, a high school science teacher, has a happy, and relatively stable life. Other than the rather mundane work-related stresses, not much goes on in his life. He has a great wife, Pam, and an adorable little girl, Claire, who mean the world to him. All is good in Jack's life. Jack's world, however, is about to be turned into a living hell when he has a nightmare that is all too real. Jack dreams that he is Sergeant Casey Stillman, a marine stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the most violent fighting seen during the war. Casey and his men are caught in a street battle, fighting for their lives. As his men drop one by one, Casey makes a daring sprint to another vantage point, only to be shot in the chest. Soon an approaching shadow blocks out the sun (could it be a rescue helicopter?), and Casey feels himself slipping away. At that point in the dream, Jack jumps up from his bed, screaming and sweating as he grabs at his throat. Pam does her best to console her frightened husband, telling him it's just a dream. Jack eventually calms down and goes on with his day, heading off to work. Unfortunately, as the day progresses, images from his dream come flooding back. Then while at lunch, he hears a tv report on the recent fierce fighting in Fallujah. The reporter mentions the high casualties and Jack starts to wonder...did he have a dream or could it have really happened? As time goes by, the nightmare returns, repeatedly. In addition, Jack starts seeing, and talking to, Casey's dead comrades. Is Jack going insane or is he really Casey Stillman, caught in some sort of horrible supernatural nightmare? Together with the reader, Jack has to figure out what is happening, while keeping his sanity, as well as try and figure out a way to return to his beloved wife and child. Fade to Black starts out fast and doesn't let up until the last page. The story begins with an intense battle in Fallujah that takes the lives of Casey's men, and perhaps Casey himself (the reader doesn't find out what happened to Casey until well into the book). Immediately after the battle chapter, we meet Jack as he jumps up from his dream. The story goes back and forth between the two men and their individual hells, and slowly the two lives seem to merge. Or is that just part of the dream? The author, who served two tours in Iraq as a combat surgeon, knows his material and it shows in his writing. Fade to Black is a realistic war story, mixed with a touch of supernatural thriller to create a story you won't be able to put down until you find out just what is happening to Jack Keller. Quill says: The action doesn't stop till the very last page but the tension and terror of Fade to Black will stay with you long after you've closed the book.