Hollywood Book Festival Critique

CODE NAME SONNY

By K.E. Pottie

A page-turning novel that combines World War II intrigue with a modern-day murder mystery, “Code Name Sonny” is an enjoyable read that will be a particular favorite for veterans and those who love them.

Author K.E. Pottie shows a deft hand for storytelling and dialog in his debut novel. The plot bounces back and forth between occupied France in World War II and the present-day, tracking the adventures of a father (the “Sonny” of the title) and his son, who helps unravel a mystery about his dad’s past.

Joe (Sonny) is a teenager in a small New England town in the early days of WW II. Too young to enlist in the regular service, he becomes a National Guard member. But soon, because he is fluent in French and has deep radio knowledge, he’s selected for a mission deep behind enemy lines in France. He hooks up with the French resistance and helps them broadcast disinformation that will hopefully fool the Germans and help set up the eventual Allied invasion in Normandy.

In the novel’s other track, Sonny’s son, Jack, discovers in 2000 that his dad, always reluctant to talk about the war, has a secret to hide about his combat experiences. And eventually, Jack finds out that someone is out for revenge, killing WW II veterans around the country, with a special yen to take out his father.

Although the killer’s identity is easy to figure out, there’s enough suspenseful storytelling in the tale’s unfolding to still leave room for reader enjoyment. And the merging of the World War II era and the novel’s denouement results in a clever ending that contains two final surprises for readers.

A deep respect for elders and veterans is evident throughout the story, and the vivid descriptions of activities in occupied France makes for riveting reading. It would be easy to see a film adaptation of “Code Name Sonny,” and while the story is neatly wrapped at the end, there is enough back-story hinted at in the novel that has yet to be told. We look forward to more from this promising author.

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