Title: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler
Author: Steve Shear
Genre: Fiction, Military, PTSD
Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.
The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated movie, NO), and the screenplay has been completed.
This is a tough read but one that is worthy of the time put into it. The author tells a compelling story full of basic issues that resonate far too often in this 21st century world. The main point is PTSD but the other key issues (oft interrelated with the main) are racism, militarism, love, self respect, dignity and living with disability.
I loved the characters of Rachel, Daisy and Esme but had a full on hate for Pa and John Michael. Adrian is a character a reader must feel for on a deep level. The story is brilliantly written and tells a story that must be told today more so than before.
This book shines a bright light on the crime that the U.S. has been committing for the entire 21st century. America sends its young people to fight in a war but does nothing to take care of them when they come marching, limping or rolling home. If you cannot find a way to pay for every single possible after care possibility, from basic health care to full health restoration to mental care to job and career help, then DO NOT send young people to fight. You cannot deal with battalions of grievously physically and injured soldiers with a 'we’ll deal with it later' mentality. Until America can get proper funding to the VA and proper staffing so that soldiers suffering with PTSD are no longer killing themselves waiting for a treatment session - then they can no longer send soldiers to fight.
A powerful book that is one of the most important books any politician or American family can read.
My Rating: 5+ stars
Buy it now:
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4
The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.
Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.
My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).
In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.
I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N