Joshua’s Country: Gerard De Marigny
Family ties become hard to remain in tack as one man who is hard nosed, not easily pliable and is set in his ways just might learn the true meaning of love, forgiveness and hope as he learns the truth behind the actions of others. Joshua Jacobs is a cowboy and veteran of the Vietnam War. Touch, hard and he’s created a ranch and way of life that allows him to govern his territory his own way. With the help of the Apache Indians and just a patch of land that he turned into an Empire with these Indians guarding him, his family and his friend Snake, Pepper who he met in the army and other faithful friends, Joshua Jacob’s is about to be tested, tried, and temporarily sentenced to some hard truths as his grandson Joshua, his namesake is as the heart of this novel Young Joshua wants to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps despite what his mother, Katy wants or his father James would have wanted for him if he had lived.
Border Control is supposed to protect the people and not allow anyone that is illegal through but one such guard named Herrera was not only dirty but also linked to some dangerous people. Angel Martin is another agent who should have been promoted but they thought he did not have enough tenure. Coming out to Joshua’s ranch and demanding to see him did not cut it with old Joshua. Dealing with this agent would prove deadly later on but first this man showed the young agent whom not to fool with but would he realize why and give it up?
Katy Jacobs was married to James, Joshua’s son and she dealt with her father in law only when necessary she is a vet. When a young couple is brought to the ranch by one of the workers and allowed inside, Joshua is angry, wants them out but circumstances that occur change the outcome. Rito the young husband deals with Joshua, follows his instructions and the scene plays out not exactly the way Agent Herrera wants it to with his badge shot out of his hand and having to retreat but for how long? The man who runs his life and expects him to do what he says is someone named Locadio Lozano who wants this agent to allow 50 illegal’s within three days into the country with no one searching their backpacks or stopping them. Telling this man that he has letters mailed to several agencies telling of his missions and making sure that he won’t be killed won’t protect him from the one man that the reader is about to meet who set all this in motion. Drugs are at the heart of what Herrera is holding in a bag that Joshua finds and returns. Lozano is not easily deterred but Herrera will soon learn that he does not and never had the upper hand. But, this agent and Joshua and many others will come in conflict when he learns that ISIS has hit the camp where his grandson is and he is afraid of the end result.
Young Josh is smart and when attacked, cuffed and taken prisoner he thinks fast and the scenes that you will witness, see and which are vividly described by the author will help you visualize what happens to Josh, the other prisoners and his quick thinking, smart maneuvers trying to outfox the head of this ISIS operation a man called Shakir. Evil, unrelenting, killing anyone that is in his way, threatening to behead anyone that dares to defy him including his own men, Joshua and several other prisoners form an alliance and what they do is amazing.
When Joshua Jacobs says that the United States ends at these gates, little do his adversaries know that they should never question his words? Life takes different turns and Joshua will learn through many lessons he thinks he can impart on others some valuable ones of his own that he regrets being estranged from his son James before he died while serving our country and his wife Katy does not forgive him for trying to overtake their lives and orchestrate the events that he hoped they would follow. All too often parents learn hard and fast lessons in life too late when they try to create and eliminate obstacles from their children’s lives, think they know best and in this case should have given James his some free reign. His wife Sarah was his rock or his mainstay and losing her took away any kindness or spirit that would endear him to others except his grandson Joshua who also chose to serve. But, letters that he expects and the last one telling him he wanted to be by his side running the ranch, makes him happy until hope is taken away when Joshua is captured. Imagine the fear and anguish in a parent’s heart and mind when they see their son on the news taken by these horrific people. A unit of ISIS called the Storm Demons run by their leader Shakir who is known for being merciless, heartless and evil wanting only to kill and behead as many people as he can and for what? Proud of his ways he will dread the day he took Joshua! America is the enemy and the Islamic Extremists we meet in this novel have one goal and that’s to take out young Joshua.
Dealing with Shakir required bravery, depth and intelligence and when he stated that Joshua would send his mother a letter of his impending death and the ransom this terrorist thought he would get the end result in the long run will surprise readers as Joshua took whatever he dished out but for how long? Using the skills his Uncle Snake taught him he was able to free himself to a point and enlist the aid of the other prisoners to try and take down some of his adversaries. Ranking as Sergeant the others naturally begged off to his authority and with their fortitude, skills he and Airman Nahas would execute his plan to overtake the drivers in the truck where they were being held. Lance Corporeal Klimkowski assisted with getting hold of the rifles and these three men were almost like an entire army. Getting hold of a knife he had it at Shakir’s throat but taking him out at that time would have saved him from what happens next. The scenes are tense and Joshua is using every ounce of his skills to escape but the end result would not exactly be what they expected. Shakir had his own men and although he seemed to be down an out he regrouped and with the help of Agent Herrera who would soon like the magnitude of this man’s wrath, he hoped to finally get Joshua and take his revenge.
Terrorists have no morals, scruples of feelings and their only mission is to take out the enemy and in this case it was Joshua who managed with the Lance Corporal and Nahas to escape but not uninjured. Waking up in the hospital everyone thought he was save but Herrera soon learned that his mission was in place and his life could end at any minute because Shakir was determined to take out Joshua. Pride, arrogance and blindsiding the Older Joshua and his men would take them out but he did not know whom he was dealing with at the time but he would learn even if it were the hard way.
In the hospital Joshua seems protected until Snake is with him and the FBI agent is missing and a nurse comes in to have him moved to another hospital sending off red flags in all directions. Taking heed to protect Katy his mother and then deciding to take Josh back to the ranch, little did anyone suspect that these terrorists with the help of this agent would take Agent Martin in as their prisoner and use Herrera to help target Joshua and his family. Threats fly from all directions and the end result is someone close to the family sacrifices his life while the others fight for their lives, freedom and destruction of this cell called the Storm Demons for good. The battle scene at the ranch is tense, filled with gore, lives ending, strategies failing and some having to be rethought as this Texas based tough family takes on these terrorists and their minions full blast with the help of the Indians, his loyal staff and one smart young soldier named Joshua, a brave mother who would do anything to protect her son and a grandfather who just wanted to make things right. Who wins the battle? What happens at the end? Will Joshua stand beside his grandfather and take over the farm? Will Katy forgive her father-in-law for what happened to James? An ending filled with violence, hope, sacrifice, allegiance to our country and a message to terrorists to think more than twice before coming on our soil as once again author Gerard de Marigny hits high marks with a plot line ripped right out of the headlines and the news each day. Joshua’s Country is the start of I hopes a series with not only the older Joshua but young Josh too. Read the author’s notes and the article about how ISIS crossed into Texas and understand the impetus for writing this novel. A story of redemption, family loyalties, trust and love!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine