20 October 2012

FINDING JACK - DEBUT NOVEL BY GARETH CROCKER

Finding Jack by Gareth Crocker
This beautiful story, based on fact, is written by South African author Gareth Crocker. After losing his wife and daughter in a plane crash, a deeply depressed American journalist, Fletcher Carson joins the US Army and goes to war-torn Vietnam. While on a mission, he rescues an injured Labrador that he names Jack. The dog wins the hearts of all the soldiers. After being nursed back to health, Jack becomes a working dog in the war zone. When the order to pull out of Vietnam is issued, Jack is not included in the airlift. Fletcher risks his life, and a court martial, as the soldier and his dog walk through enemy territory to a neighbouring country. The book is intended as a tribute to war dogs - about 4000 dogs did service in Vietnam, but less than 200 made it to the USA. This is a story of the relationship between a man and his dog, as well as a story of surviving life and carrying on. You will cry.

Gareth was born in Johannesburg. A former journalist, he lives in Johannesburg with his wife, two children, and three dogs. He has a degree in English, Psychology and Communications. This is his debut novel, and is the second novel by a South African author to appear in a US volume of Reader’s Digest. The first South African author was Alan Paton, for Cry, the Beloved Country in 1950.

Non-fiction books that record these faithful canine soldiers'  contributions, include Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney, and The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs by Lisa Rogak.