New York Times bestselling author David L. Robbins presents a riveting novel of war, love, and survival, set against the backdrop of an improbable rescue, the Los Baños prison raid -- one of the most daring episodes of World War II.
For three years after the fall of Manila, 2,100 Allied civilians have been imprisoned at Los Baños Internment Camp, 40 miles to the southeast and notorious for its horrendous conditions. American Remy Tuck, the camp's resident gambler, struggles daily with his Japanese army captors to keep his community of Americans, Brits, and Dutch alive, as they stave off starvation and protect one another from vicious punishments. Remy's son, Talbot, now nineteen, has become a man while in captivity. Headstrong to the hilt and a nimble thief, Tal can move like a snake under the guards' noses and defies their orders at every opportunity.
On the other side of the barbed wire, looking down on the camp, is the Filipina Carmen, a "comfort woman" who has been kidnapped by the Japanese, raped, and forced into sexual slavery to service the Imperial Japanese Army. Carmen battles to keep herself physically and emotionally intact. A favorite of one of the guards, she accepts his occasional kindnesses but has eyes only for Tal, whose fortitude in the face of great suffering astounds her. Tal, in turn, looks up to Carmen's high window and sees the grace and courage with which she endures her imprisonment. Without speaking, the two fall in love above the encampment grounds.
As the tide of the war in the Pacific turns against the Japanese, tensions and danger in the camp escalate. In the face of all but certain execution at the hands of their captors, Remy and Tal enact a daring plan to save their fellow prisoners and the woman Tal loves.
Robbins's ninth novel, the best WWII Pacific campaign novel in a long time, tells the dramatic story of the 1945 rescue of 2,100 American and allied prisoners from the Los Ba os camp near Manila. Middle-aged gambler Remy Tuck and his teenage son, Talbot, have been civilian prisoners since the Philippines fell to the Japanese in 1942. Packed into the miserable Los Ba os, where the Japanese starve, beat, abuse and murder the prisoners, Remy and Talbot use their wits and courage to survive. Across the camp, Carmen is a young Filipina woman forced to be a sex slave for Japanese soldiers. She and Talbot forge a relationship via long-distance glances through barbed wire. Once the Americans invade the Philippines and plan a daring mission to rescue the prisoners from certain death, Remy, Talbot and Carmen risk their lives to aid the paratroopers coming to their rescue, though bad luck, homicidal guards and stray bullets nearly do them in. This is a terrific story of the triumph of the human spirit, loaded with suspense, historical accuracy and fast-paced action.