3 out of 4 stars
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The Mayor of Successive Miracles centered on Jack Grant. In fact, in Jack’s world, the entire universe revolves around him. From an early age, Jack has learned to suck up to the right people, delegate the tasks he doesn’t want to be concerned with, and sabotage others to make himself appear more grandiose. To advance his military career, Jack married the daughter of an admiral. To cover for an embarrassing showing in a flight exercise, he took credit for shooting down MIGs (which his wingman fired upon). Then Jack talked said wingman into going along. To further the lie, he destroyed the actual tape of the flight and substituted a blank one. Rather than being seen as a clown, he was a hero.
One of Jack’s fellow officers joked that if there were a place in Heaven called Successive Miracles, Jack would be its mayor. Jack always seems to get away with every horrific choice he makes. It doesn’t matter to him that lives are sometimes lost as a result. Now, much to his surprise, the actual tape of his flight (where MIGs were shot down) was not destroyed. It has surfaced and threatens to undo every success Jack has gained. Will the actual tape be exposed? Will Jack continue pretending and causing more casualties?
I loved the fast pace of this plot. At just under 400 pages, there was not one moment that I was bored or wished the plot would move faster. The personalities of the characters were well developed, and I found them to be realistic and relatable. Probably everyone knows at least one “Jack” in their lives, who gets away with anything and always seems to come out on top.
Also, I appreciated that since most of this novel took place in a Navy setting, the author carefully explained the terms that might be unfamiliar to readers. To further assist readers, Tallent includes a detailed glossary at the end of the novel. Unfortunately, I found more than ten errors. However, they did not at all interfere with my reading pleasure. In this fast-paced story, I could find nothing to dislike. Therefore, I award The Mayor of Successive Miracles by Hamlin Tallent 3 out of 4 stars, deducting a single point for the errors.
This intriguing novel should appeal to anyone interested in reading books that relate to the Navy. Also, those who have suffered through working alongside a “Jack” in their workplace will especially like this book. Even those with no interest in naval war stories whatsoever may still want to give this book a try. The coarse language will be a turn off to many. Because there are numerous references to sexual encounters (although nothing too graphic), this book may not be appropriate for many readers, including young adults. I cannot recommend it highly enough, as I thoroughly enjoyed this story in its entirety!
The Mayor of Successive Miracles
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