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Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man who'd always refused to talk about his war.
As he pieces together his father's past through military archives, letters, and, finally, notes from a memoir his father wrote while in prison, secretly preserved by the officer who defended him, Stewart starts to assemble a dramatic and baffling chain of events. He learns how Dubin, a JAG lawyer attached to Patton's Third Army and desperate for combat experience, got more than he bargained for when he was ordered to arrest Robert Martin, a wayward OSS officer who, despite his spectacular bravery with the French Resistance, appeared to be acting on orders other than his commanders'. In pursuit of Martin, Dubin and his sergeant are parachuted into Bastogne just as the Battle of the Bulge reaches its apex. Pressed into the leadership of a desperately depleted rifle company, the men are forced to abandon their quest for Martin and his fiery, maddeningly elusive comrade, Gita, as they fight for their lives through carnage and chaos the likes of which Dubin could never have imagined.
In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, andin love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his past, of his father's character, and of the brutal nature of war itself.
Legal thriller writer Scott Turow brings back a recurring character but switches genres for this complex and haunting wartime tale. Stewart Dubinsky's father was a reticent man who never discussed his service in World War II. Cleaning out his recently deceased father's belongings, Stewart discovers a bundle of letters written by his father to his then-fiancée, a woman not Stewart's mother. With the help of the letters, army records, and a secret memoir, Stewart reconstructs a hitherto unknown and extremely troubling part of his father's life, when David Dubin was a JAG lawyer pursuing a suspected double agent, a mission that plunges him into an affair with the agent's probable lover and eventually leads to his court-martial and imprisonment.
"[H]is most ambitious novel to date....[T]he story of shifting allegiances, divided loyalties, compromised principles and primal instincts is as engrossing as any of Turow's legal thrillers. Without diminishing his page-turning narrative momentum, Turow extends his literary range." (starred review) 09/01/2005 Publishers Weekly
"[A]n ambitious, fascinating page-turner....Turow makes the leap from courtroom to battlefield effortlessly." (starred review) 09/19/2005 New York Times
"ORDINARY HEROES has the conviction of utter sincerity....The author's anguish about war is unmistakably real." - Janet Maslin 10/27/2005 New York Times Book Review
"This novel provides a showcase for Turow's storytelling skills: he juggles the narratives, shifting back and forth in time with assurance; he is alert as always to character; the plot moves....Turow, one suspects, could take on almost any subject. This loyal reader hopes he keeps stretching--with occasional trips back to the courthouse." - Joseph Kanon 11/06/2005