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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Codes & Decodes is the fourth book in the Nam Viet Quartet series by John Klawitter. Jack Beale knows that his life is in a rut, and only he has the power to do something about it. He is fifty years old, makes a humble living by writing television commercials, and has a trunkful of manuscripts that never made it past the rejection letters. Did he think it would be easy after the war ended? But why does it seems like the war is dogging every step he takes in life even after it ended so many years ago? As he hopes to get his manuscript accepted, his mind takes him back to the time when he was fighting the war with his friends and how his current circumstances remind him of the days in Vietnam. As he embarks on a quest of finding acceptance in the literary world, Jack first needs to accept the past before he can move forward. Is he capable of that? Or will Jack choose to be lost in the words he creates out of thin air and forget his reality?
You can pick up any book about the Vietnam war era, and you will find that each author offers a unique perspective of the war. Author John Klawitter does a brilliant job of showing the “after effects” of the war and how it affected the lives of the men who paid their dues. Jack is one of those men who may seem normal on the surface, but he hides the aches and pain of the war inside. He has dreams and aspirations, but the past and the war still have a hold on Jack. Codes & Decodes is very entertaining, and all of the credit goes to the author. The narrative style is unique and entertaining at the same time. The words appear to flow seamlessly and blend in together to make the story fascinating. I love the descriptions and the imagery because the author made sure everything melds together perfectly. The pace is fast yet not too fast so that it gives the reader whiplash. Jack’s character is subtle yet very prominent at the same time. He is gentle yet demands your attention. This is a brilliant story, something that everyone should read.