My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sergeant Mahoney and his team are ordered to prevent a harbor from being blown up in Nazi occupied Cherbourg, France. One important thing that sets The Sergeant books apart from other military action stories is that Len Levinson, writing as Gordon Davis, in no way glorifies the war or fighting. The fighting is a necessary evil and the war is an utter atrocity. A highlight for me was the long sequence of Mahoney and his seduction of an army nurse. Rather than an impersonal and sleazy seduction, as found in most action books, it spoke to the desperation and loneliness of the men and women fighting overseas for a cause bigger than themselves. Mahoney looks back with longing at his short time spent with Shirley and what might have been if it wasn’t for the damn war. Sure Mahoney is still kind of an asshole, he’s human and with the failings of many of us, but he’s also loyal and honorable and that goes a long way to make him a compelling character rather than a macho military caricature. Another excellent entry in the series.