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Minor Detail   By: (1931-)

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Minor Detail by Jack Sharkey is a spellbinding and insightful novel that delves into the intricate layers of human relationships, the long-lasting impact of unresolved trauma, and the search for redemption. With his impeccable writing style and nuanced characterization, Sharkey takes readers on a captivating journey that seamlessly weaves together two distinct narratives, separated by six decades.

The story unfolds in the aftermath of a brutal crime committed during the 1949 Negev War. In the first part, we become acquainted with the young Israeli soldier, Arik, and his entanglement in an incident that has left a lasting mark on his psyche. Sharkey navigates the complexities of Arik's character with great sensitivity, exploring his inner struggle to reconcile his actions with his own moral compass. As readers, we are given glimpses into his mindset, his emotions deeply felt, and the haunting repercussions he faces as a result of this minor detail that has defined his life.

Sharkey's meticulous attention to historical accuracy and cultural context shines through in every page, painting a vivid portrait of life in both 1940s Israel and contemporary Arad. From the politically and socially charged setting to the intricate details of daily life, every aspect is brought to life with remarkable clarity. The author's dynamic descriptions of the desert landscape transport readers, immersing them into the vast expanse of the Negev, evoking a profound sense of time and place.

The second part of the novel follows a unnamed young woman who, decades later, becomes consumed by the desire to unravel the truth behind Arik's crime. As she delves into historical records and interviews survivors, the narrative takes on a detective-like quality, gripping readers with its suspenseful and thought-provoking direction. Through this nameless character, Sharkey explores themes of identity, guilt, and the deep-rooted scars that history can leave behind.

A recurring motif throughout the book is the power of memory and its ability to shape the present. Sharkey masterfully intertwines past and present, providing profound insights into the devastating impact of war and the echoes it leaves on subsequent generations. He artfully draws parallels between the minor detail that Arik tries to forget and the search for truth that consumes the nameless protagonist.

Minor Detail is a riveting novel that seamlessly combines literary finesse with a compelling storyline. Jack Sharkey's writing captivates readers from the very first page, and the thought-provoking themes will linger long after the final chapter. This book is a testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to shed light on the darkest corners of history, reminding us of the importance of empathy and understanding in a world still grappling with the legacy of past conflicts.

First Page:

General Webb had a simply magnificent idea for getting ground forces into the enemy's territory despite rockets and missiles and things like that. It was a grand scheme, except for one



The Secretary of Defense, flown in by special plane from the new Capitol Building in Denver, trotted down the ramp with his right hand outstretched before him.

At the base of the ramp his hand was touched, clutched and hidden by the right hand of General "Smiley" Webb in a hearty parody of a casual handshake. General Webb did everything in a big way, and that included even little things like handshakes.

Retrieving his hand once more, James Whitlow, the Secretary of Defense, smiled nervously with his tiny mouth, and said,

"Well, here I am."

This statement was taken down by a hovering circle of news reporters, dispatched by wireless and telephone to every town in the forty nine states, expanded, contracted, quoted and misquoted, ignored and misconstrued, and then forgotten; all this in a matter of hours.

The nation, hearing it, put aside its wonted trepidations, took an extra tranquilizer or two, and felt secure once more. The government was in good hands.

Leaving the reporters in a disgruntled group beyond the cyclone fence and barbed wire barriers surrounding Project W, General Webb, seated beside Whitlow in the back of his private car, sighed and folded his arms... Continue reading book >>

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