An American Atrocity

A novel by

Mike McCarey


An American Atrocity

A novel by Mike McCarey

Balancing moral responsibility and military duty

On a rainy night in January 1968, several days before Tet, a squad of Marines on a mission to gather intelligence is attacked by a large force of North Vietnamese regulars. Only six Marines live through the assault. The following day, the half-dazed and exhausted survivors capture three Vietnamese dressed as farmers. The captives are put on “trial” for being the enemy, sentenced to death, and executed. One of the captives—a teenage boy—is tortured and hanged.
While prosecuting the killers for premeditated murder, Jeff Connors, a young Marine lawyer, is forced to confront the difficult issues that arise when Americans prosecute their own for atrocities committed in a guerilla war: Where is the dividing line between warfare’s inherent brutality and war crimes? Should our fighting men and women be forced to follow the rules of war when fighting an enemy that ignores them? Are the rules of war even relevant to guerrilla conflicts?
Written by a former Chief Prosecutor for the First Marine Division, An American Atrocity is a powerful, insightful and gripping narrative describing one man’s struggle to balance moral responsibility with military duty.

"An American Atrocity is, simply put, fantastic. I enjoyed it from beginning to end: vivid scenes, colorful characters and well-maintained plot throughout.” Colonel William Eleazer, USMC (Ret.), former military judge and legal officer and award winning author of Savannah Law.