Edge of Valor

A Todd Ingram Novel
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Published:July 15, 2014
By John J. Gobbell (Author)

Edge of Valor is the fifth thriller by John J. Gobbell featuring the World War II exploits of Cdr. Todd Ingram, commanding officer of the destroyer USS Maxwell (DD 525) who saves his ship when it is hit by a kamikaze off Okinawa. For repairs, they pull into Kerama Rhetto, Okinawa, where they receive news of the war’s end. Ingram expects to be shipped home like the rest of his crew but instead receives orders to fly to Manila, where he is met by Brig. Gen. Otis Dewitt, an Army buddy from his days on Corregidor who is now intelligence aide to Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, chief of staff to General MacArthur. On Ingram’s C-54 are sixteen Japanese senior military and civilian diplomats who meet with Sutherland to discuss formal surrender arrangements. Two days later the terms are settled and Ingram is working with one of the Japanese delegates to ensure that mines laid in Tokyo Bay are neutralized, allowing for safe passage of more than two hundred Allied ships. While Ingram is promised that he can attend the surrender ceremony on board the USS Missouri (BB 63), DeWitt, in concert with the State Department, has an ulterior motive and sends Ingram to Karafuto (Sakhalin Island, according to Soviet maps) to defuse a Soviet attack on Hokkaido, the northernmost home island of Japan. Ingram’s old adversary, Edward Dezhnev, is the brigade commander responsible for laying siege to a Japanese holdout garrison in Toro, a natural jumping-off place for an attack on Hokkaido.

Also in Toro, DeWitt explains, is Walter Boring, a Red Cross representative holding two crates of overwhelming photographic evidence of Japan’s experiments on live human beings in China. Ingram is expected to return with those crates, but how can he when Boring is being protected by the Japanese garrison in Toro, where Dezhnev and his troops stand ready to overpower them at any moment?

As his shipmates prepare to return to their loved ones, Ingram’s war continues. Three weeks earlier he had been fighting the Japanese, and the Russians were supposed to be friends. Now he doesn’t know whom to trust.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Fiction
  • Hardback : 344 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (July 15, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1612515193
  • ISBN-13: 9781612515199
  • Product Dimensions: 6.125 X 9.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 20.56 oz
  • "This well-written, nicely researched historical novel begins just before World War II ends. Background information and the problems of those involved in the war and its end are woven throughout. The interplay of Japanese and Soviet interests as well as the problems of peacetime adjustment make this more than just another war novel."—The Ensign
  • "This is author John J. Gobbell's fifth action/adventure novel set in World War II and continues the exploits of Todd Ingram. A deftly crafted and complexly woven storyline populated by memorable characters all presented by an extraordinarily talented writer, Edge of Valor is a compelling and wonderfully entertaining read which is highly recommended..."—The Midwest Book Review
  • “Gobbell’s exciting fifth Todd Ingram novel (after 2004’s The Neptune Strategy) finds Ingram commanding the destroyer USS Maxwell, which comes under Kamikaze attack off the coast of Japan shortly after the second atomic bomb falls on Nagasaki. Following the Japanese surrender, Ingram thinks the end of the war in the Pacific means an imminent return to his wife and son stateside after years of combat, yet he quickly discovers otherwise. While Ingram’s next assignment is to escort top Japanese military officials and diplomats on a flight to the Philippines to negotiate peace with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, his old comrade from Corregidor days, Brig. Gen. Otis DeWitt, has bigger plans for the war-weary commander. DeWitt dispatches him to Sakhalin Island, where the Soviets are preparing to launch an attack on Hokkaido. The heroic Ingram gets involved in plenty of intrigue as he seeks to thwart the Soviet threat. History and military buffs will be well rewarded.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • Edge of Valor is John Gobbell at his finest, with a rapidly-paced historical thriller that will have readers turning pages at a furious rate. His portrayal of the war years in the Pacific and on the home front is brilliant and authentic down to the last detail.”

  • “John Gobbell’s latest book, Edge of Valor, is another triumph in this series. It is historical fiction at its best. He is a master of the details of the battle actions of our World War II destroyers and extends his tale to include the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.” —Rear Adm. Hank McKinney, USN (Ret.), author of Flotsam & Jetsam
  • “Jack Gobbell knows how to tell a story, and Edge of Valor is a corking good one—combining the final days of World War II in the Pacific and the beginning of the Cold War. Gobbell skillfully weaves fascinating, well-drawn fictional characters into historical situations and thus makes a learning experience out of gripping drama. Along the way, he gives such real-life characters as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Chester Nimitz, Adm. John S. McCain Sr., and even Arturo Toscanini walk-on parts that are often almost as interesting as his main characters. Edge of Valor is, in short, a compelling and well-researched work of historical fiction.” —Stanley Cloud, former Washington bureau chief of Time magazine and author of fiction and nonfiction, including The Murrow Boys: Pioneers in the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism and the novel The Manhattan Well
  • “Far better than a yarn. Edge of Valor has vivid historical characters and heart. Like no other historical novel, it brings to life the new world order that followed World War II and is still emerging as the cause of turmoil in the western Pacific continues to shift.”

    Seth Cropsey, author of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy
  • “Having skippered his battered destroyer through deadly kamikaze attacks, twice Navy Cross recipient Todd Ingram is rewarded by Washington with a new and even more perilous secret mission. Gobbell will keep his readers up until dawn to discover if Ingram can possibly accomplish or even survive his hair-raising assignment to foil a bold Soviet planned invasion of Hokkaido from Sakhalin—before the ink is dry on Japan’s surrender.”

    Pete Wilson, former governor of California and former U.S. senator (Armed Services Committee)

John J. Gobbell is a former Navy Lieutenant who saw duty as a destroyer weapons officer. His thirty plus year career in executive recruiting gave him added insight into character development for his novels. The Edge of Valor is the fifth of five stand-alone novels in the Todd Ingram series. Altogether, he has written seven historical thrillers involving the U.S. Navy – Pacific Theater --and is currently at work on his eighth. He and his wife, Janine, live in Newport Beach, California. His website is at www.JohnJGobbell.com and he can be reached at [email protected].

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Customer Reviews

1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
I recommend it very favorably ~
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
By: Terry Miller, Executive Director, Nat'l. Association of Destroyer Veterans
Book Review – Edge of Valor by John J. Gobbell This book is the fifth in the Todd Ingram series though it is not necessary to read them in order. In it as the war with Japan is ending, another foe is apparent as the Cold War begins. Todd Ingram’s background makes him the most likely candidate for a difficult and as it turns out, dangerous assignment so instead of heading for home and family at the end of the war, he finds himself the focus of intrigue, espionage and combat in a frozen place being disputed by a reeling Japan and the Soviet Union. John Gobbell paints a rich picture of U.S. Navy life from an officer’s perspective, reflecting his own navy service. He draws on that knowledge and has researched the time period to produce another enjoyable tale for his many fans. Edge of Valor, like the other books in the Todd Ingram series, puts the reader in the action with vivid descriptions and lifelike dialog. Gobbell provides an undercurrent of the issues of the painful separation from family so familiar to military personnel and especially those who serve at sea. Old issues haunt some of the characters and affect their behavior in ways all too familiar to most veterans and Ingram and his family are not immune to them. Characters familiar to readers of Gobbell’s previous works appear in sometimes new and tangled roles, resulting in unexpected twists as Ingram becomes aware that this post-war situation has become personal – someone is trying to kill him. Any U.S. Navy veteran should appreciate this book but especially the destroyer sailors and I recommend it very favorably.


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