The Comandante’s Gift
By Frank Gallo
The Comandante’s Gift
A book review by JR Hafer, aviation writer
The Comandante’s Gift by Frank Gallo is a fictional historical novel with a lot of credibility. The storyline is not only believable but I could easily be persuaded that the author is indeed Marc DiAngelo himself.
This book had a James Bond Flavor, and I could almost hear the bond theme playing in the background during the opening flying scene and a couple of the bond-like chase sequences… (can’t you hear it?)
The author set the stage for the story line in the prologue well enough by the brief history lesson so anyone could understand the political situation and conflict. Although even in real life one had to use a “cheat sheet” sometime to remember who the good guys were. But in the book, the bad guys were shooting, chasing and looking for Marc and his lover.
It is very obvious the author has lived, flown and maybe even crashed in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Central America region. Just as obvious Mr. Gallo knows his history regarding the Somoza communist regime and the Iran Contra affair. I liked the way he was able to weave the CIA operated Southern Air Transport’s “kicker” Eugene Hasenfus capture seamlessly into the story as well. Maybe Frank wrote Ollie North in the story somewhere? It’s plausible.
Frank Gallo developed his characters well, although I would have liked to see more physical description on them so the reader could have formed a closer relationship with them. I also think the love scenes didn’t need to be quite as sterile as they were. Perhaps more details could have pulled the reader’s heartstrings more, even though it would have been a little more intimate.
Frank Gallo, being a retired Air Force pilot and a private pilot, is also a good aviation writer. He has the skill to translate his technical knowledge and flying skills onto the written page and make it interesting and exciting for his readers. I liked the way he grabbed his readers from the pilot seat of the C-47 “Gooneybird” from the very start. He had my attention and I didn’t put it down until the last page.
In my imagination they did fly off into the sunset in Marc’s Cessna 206 and live happily ever-after. Or did they? I guess you’ll have to buy the book to find out. I recommend you buy the book. It is a good read, a good story and some great flying by a good author. I hope there is another one!
This book would also be a good book for a history teacher in high school to use as recommended reading for a history class.
JRHafer, aviation writer