“Terminal Impact” by Charles Henderson is about Marines written by a retired Marine. This novel takes readers on a journey about a sniper on the trail of al-Qaeda terrorist al-Zarqawi in Iraq. He allows readers to understand how those in the military can be haunted by a missed opportunity.
The protagonist of the story Marine Scout-Sniper Jack Valentine missed a critical shot that would have killed a terrorist leader during the Persian Gulf War. Now back in Iraq in 2006 to lead a highly trained unit, he vows to make things right. To complete the mission he must overcome greedy contractors who hire mercenaries to play both sides. Readers get a glimpse into the life of a Marine including anecdotes, asides, history and combat language.
Henderson said he drew inspiration from “Marines I know. These Scout Snipers are big influences on who my main character Jack Valentine is including his training, skill set, and personality. He is a compilation of three or four guys. For example, when I wrote about the ‘Mob Squad,’ that is real. In the First Gulf War some Italian guys who chose to be together dubbed themselves this nickname. Their favorite saying, ‘It is just business, nothing personal.’”
Wanting to write a story that was believable, accurate, and real, Henderson noted, “I dug into the well of my life. I grew up hunting, living outdoors, and surrounded by rifles. Snipers are the people I know best. They are quiet, down to earth, and not boastful. I wanted to honor them. Ernst Hemingway once said, ‘To write something well you have to have lived it. You can’t write about what you don’t know.’”
Anyone who wants a realistic glimpse into the life of a Marine should read this book. It appears the scenes and the jargon are very realistic.