In “The Long Night: A Novel of Suspense”, a military fiction story with paranormal elements by Jessica Scott, Staff Sergeant Sam Brown returns to Iraq for his fourth tour of duty, leaving behind his pregnant fiancée, Faith, who has extracted his promise that he WILL return. Will the price he pays with body and soul be enough to allow him to fulfill that vow?
This tale is a somewhat unsettling but captivating look at the dark and painful effects wrought by war on the minds and bodies of soldiers caught up in the moral and ethical dilemmas they face while trying stay alive in a violent conflict. This author provides a sobering verisimilitude to her stories that are undoubtedly mined from experiences she and those around her have faced.
The contrast between the joy of knowing that he is going to be a father and the hell that Staff Sergeant Sam Brown has already experienced plus the new challenges and life-threatening situations he returns to is vividly portrayed. His fiancée, Faith, tries to live up to her name but has her own superstitious stipulations to bring him back home safely to his family. Sam must struggle with evil personified and the overwhelming stress of following orders, being true to his self and to his men, and surviving to deal with the decisions he has made in the field. The eerie events that mark his fourth tour underscore the question that is posed: “You tell me if it’s possible to go to war and stay a good man.”
Those who are fans of Jessica Scott know that she provides gritty realism in her stories, but readers of this particular tale should be warned that this is not a feel-good romance but rather a darker and more eldritch tale of the horrors of war that can change a person so much that “Home…wasn’t, anymore” and reminds us of why “Everyone wanted to cheer the soldier on. No one wanted to actually be the soldier.” The story is well written, but definitely a sobering look at the horrific cost being paid both by those who fight our battles in distant lands and those who wait for them at home.
"This one will haunt you." J.D. Rhoades
Whatever it takes, just come home to me. Promise me, Sam.
In eight months, Staff Sergeant Sam Brown will become a father. But first, he has to survive his fourth tour in Iraq. On his last night home, he tries to pretend that everything is fine, that the war is fine, that his life is fine.
But as he returns to the war zone, things are anything but fine and the promise he made to his fiancé takes on a desperate edge. As things spiral down, Sam starts to wonder about that promise.
How high is the price he will pay when the long night comes to an end?