Thursday, March 1, 2012
In Sheep's Clothing reviewed by Fran Lewis
In Sheep’s Clothing
Author: Edward P. Ciesielski, JR.
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
The men who serve our country deserve the honor and respect of the America people and those they serve. When they come home after their tour they should receive all the support, help and financial assistance to assimilate back into their community and support their families. Some never make it home and others come home fraction of what they were before. Lives are lost during a war it is unavoidable. Tow or more sides fight to win and casualties are incurred and the war continues along with the fighting. No matter how you turn it the end result for some is inevitable: Death. Some pay dearly with their lives and others in different ways. One man, Cpl. Paul Pinski paid the ultimate price when he used his body as a human shield to stop a hand grenade from exploding on others and saved many lives. Author Edward P. Ciesielskim JR. begins his debut novel with an inside and up close description of the mission that cost Paul his life. Taking the reader into the trenches, the jungle and hearing the communications between the men you can picture their final moments as if you were there yourself. But, this is just the beginning of this powerful novel. Although Paul would be awarded, posthumously the Medal of Honor for his act of heroism it does not bring him back to his family. Taking the reader on a short journey back in time you learn about Paul and Lucy, their relationship and their upcoming knowledge that they were going to become parents.
Captain Matthew Kilmun was his commanding officer. Hardnosed, a West Pointer, and army bound, would not take anything less than being on the front lines. Offered a high- powered position at General Motors he resigned in order to serve his country. Paul never returned home and neither did his commanding officer. Paul died on June 6, 1944 at 12 noon at the exact time his son, Alec came into this world at 6: A.M. in America.
Lucy was elated when giving birth to her son. An army wife and excited and hoping Paul would come home to meet his son. But, no army wife, no one wants to open the door and find a soldier holding that fateful note or telegram stating that your husband, son or daughter was killed in action. Lucy was fragile and could not handle life without Paul and went insane. Locking her away was the only solution.
Victor Pinski was Paul’s adopted son who came to live with them hoping he would not have to serve if they realized he was a parent. Victor was not the best kid in the world. He was smart, artistic and definitely cunning and here is where our story begins. Lucy learns to cope with Paul’s death and soon after she is released from the hospital she gets a job as a waitress and meets someone and marries. Thinking about her life and marry Luke made Lucy happy. Luke being a top mechanic wanted her to stop working and focus on taking care of her sons but Lucy loved working and refused knowing that she wanted and needed her independence. Both of her sons were smart Alec, the younger was friendly, manipulative and knew the value of a dollar. Alec made some fast friends one being Herman the bookmaker as his courier but not for long. Alec and Victor were basically two of a kind. When Alec wanted in on Victor’s antics he had no choice to relent to his demands. Alec was quick and fit right in with the gang and all of their antics. But, sometimes even innocent fun can turn ugly as they decided to jump a train and waited too long to return, lost their way, ran into a man who decided to beat on them, killed the man buried him and were found by the police when Luke called them. Little did they know that one of their gang would confess to the murder, show them where the body was and start a chain of events that just might send them to jail? The investigation is not handled the same it would be now. The officers and detectives are called in from different areas whether they wanted to be there or not. As the victim is identified and they realize he was a vet many of the officers remember the wars they fought and the battles they encountered. As Bloodsworth remembers the POW’s and the Japanese another remembers Normandy. Filled with information and research about WWII and the lives that intersected as a result this book is truly unique and keeps the reader wondering what will happen to the seven boys who killed the man and what will happen next?
Questioning done and the evidence assessed and the end result to release the boys’ stating the murder was in self- defense. Then things change for the family and another child is born. But, Alec realizes the change in the dynamics of his family and this young man “In Sheep’s Clothing,” is hiding his venomous side from the world. Two brothers both starting out with the same mother and different fathers yet bonding. Both having troubled pasts and presents but when Luke comes into their mother’s life things appear to straighten out but Alec has his own agenda in mind and his true feelings are heard when shared by the author. Attention, the main attraction the one in the limelight until Terri was born. Alec decided that she needed to be eliminated and how he manages this is horrific. Getting away with it frightening but creative. Lucy goes crazy again but this time she cannot be contained even in the hospital. A dangerous outburst proves deadly and one doctor would be haunted forever and one son seems to have adjusted with no problem. Victor falls prey to the wrong group and decides to take the easy way out and winds up facing the barrel of a gun. Detective Jimmy Saukas made a judgment call and the end result will end the life of another one of Luke’s children. But, the detectives that handle telling Luke do not realize their words and the end result is anything but what you would expect. Every step of the way you learn more about the close-knit family among in the police and fire departments. He learns about the cover-ups, the corruption and the ties that bond them together. It seems that there is no accountability when things happen even when Lucy is murdered under the watchful care of a noted doctor.
Prejudice’s ugly head shows its face when a black firefighter begins at the same house as Luke but partners up with him despite what the others say and do. A ten- alarm fire, which could have avoided his death, occurs and once again Alec loses the only constant in his life his father. But, the story is far from over. When Alec moves in with his uncle and goes off by himself he learns a hard lesson when meeting up with some rough gang members.
Alec Bazey never forgets anyone or anything. His revenge is swift, without remorse and painful. In front of his family and real friends he is kind, warmhearted, helpful, caring and pretends to be forgiving. In reality he is a coldhearted and cruel but he was unstoppable and his next step was becoming a police officer. His career as a police officer, the retribution he enacted on others and his final act will stun the reader as Alec raises the top and manages to create a persona that the world accepts. Manipulator, impersonator, coldhearted, justifies his actions in his own mind and validates them; the ending is just the beginning. There is much more to come. Lies, betrayals, murders, cover ups and revenge so well planned the victims never see it coming and this author is the master at creating the illusions, the many masks of Alec and the man he has become. A character so evil and so filled with hate he believes his own actions and enacts justice his own way. Alfred Hitchcock and Patterson never created an ending so diabolical as author and master of the twists and turns and unexpected Edward P. Ciesielski, JR.
Fran Lewis: reviewer