Back to Serve

Return of a Soldier

Fiction - Military
210 Pages
Reviewed on 05/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

CW3 Cesare Giannetti U.S. Army (Ret.)

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Back to Serve by Cesare Giannetti, Captain Nico Corretti has spent 25 years serving his country and now he must readjust to life outside the military. Nico begins the long drive home to his wife and boys, during which he remembers the conflicts he has fought and the friends he has lost. Nico meets a mysterious Russian woman in a bar, who says his life is in danger. He is told he must pay the price for his actions whilst on deployment. Nico continues his drive home, making a quick diversion to see his father in New York. With the death threat still hanging over him, Nico contemplates his future, and when he arrives home he discovers that no one needs his skills. He finally finds work with the government and is sent to Hungary. After the mission, he makes the journey to Russia and tracks down the person who is behind the threat to his life. Once home, Nico is called back into service after terrorist attacks against his country, and returns to the Middle East to face the ghosts of his past. Nico is about to face his toughest battle, to find inner peace and avenge his fallen comrades.

In Back to Serve by Cesare Giannetti, the author has written a gripping story that is a real page-turner from chapter one. The plot is extremely well researched and the descriptive writing transports you into the scenes.There are many twists and turns in the story line which I enjoyed, and the relationship between Nico and his father was realistic and heart-warming. I thought the photographs throughout were a very nice touch. The references to Benghazi, Saddam Hussein, and the Bolshevik Revolution brought the whole story and characters to life. This is an excellent story of a war hero who is battling not only outer enemies but inner demons too. This book will engage you throughout and is a must-read for everyone. This is my first military novel and I will be reading more from this author.

Romuald Dzemo

Back to Serve: Return of a Soldier by Cesare Giannetti is a great treat for fans of military novels — it is gripping and deeply moving. Nico Corretti is an army captain who is looking forward to his retirement. He is more than happy to return to civilian life and stay close to family and loved ones. But a Russian woman has hinted on his way home that his life might be in danger, and she could be right. Readjusting to civilian life isn’t easy, with unemployment and post service blues. Then he is called by the government and offered a contract abroad. He is plunged into challenges that he never envisaged at the time of the assignment, and risks his life in many ways. After completing this assignment, he comes home to more demands. With a terrorist attack on the US, he is again pulled away from his family. This time, will he be able to make it right to those who lost lives under his command in the Middle East?

This novel represents the soul of a patriot and the perils of a soldier, the dilemmas they live with and the pain that life can never be predictable for them. The characters are rock-solid and they are written into a powerful and compelling background. Cesare Giannetti is a great writer and the prose flows beautifully, gracefully, seductively. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions and marvelled at how the author can capture details in the narrative without sacrificing the plot elements. The story is imbued with realism and the characters with humanity, all of which makes Back to Serve: Return of a Soldier a very believable story.

Ruffina Oserio

A man torn between his love of family and duty to his country, Nico Corretti is a soldier whose story epitomizes the thrills and challenges of being a soldier and the author does a great job in exploring the conflict in Back to Serve: Return of a Soldier. In Cesare Giannetti’s novel, the protagonist has just completed a military mission and is returning home to family in the hopes of having quality time with loved ones. Navigating civilian life and making the necessary changes in life, and at a time of peak unemployment, becomes one of the greatest challenges for Nico. But he will quickly find himself torn away from family and sent on a dangerous mission by the government. When all is done and he thinks it could be time to settle down, a terrorist crisis makes him the prime candidate for yet another dangerous mission. This time will he survive the Middle East, a place that is responsible for the deaths of many of the soldiers under his command?

I am not a great fan of military novels, but I deeply enjoyed Back to Serve: Return of a Soldier, especially the steady flow of the narrative, the engrossing streams of consciousness, and the social commentaries which exemplify the author's masterly use of contrast between the two lives of the protagonist — life as a soldier and what it is like as a civilian. The conflict is well-developed and the author’s exceptional exploration of the psychological aspect of the conflict in the protagonist made this book a great read. The narrative features powerful themes like family and war, love and loyalty, and the overall writing is injected with realism, making it easy for readers to relate to the characters. If you love military novels and stories that are beautiful told, then this is a treat you’ll love.