The Trail Through Hell: A Novel of the Army’s Pacific Victory by J. Scott Payne

The Trail Through Hell is the third novel in J. Scott Payne’s World War II Trilogy. This novel continues where the last one, The Green Hell, left off with Master Sergeant Jim Mays recuperating from his experiences in New Guinea. He’s a patient at a hospital in Australia and, as he heals from wounds both physical and psychological, he meets a young Aussie woman whom he begins to court. This sweet romance does more to sooth his spirit than any medicine could and he soon finds himself back in training – this time to go behind enemy lines as General MacArthur prepares to re-take the Philippines.

As in his previous novels, the author pulls no punches here. War is a dirty business and you’ll find no John Wayne romanticizing in Payne’s work. Jim and his buddies must battle not only the Japanese, who never surrender, but also the climate and terrain of the Philippine Islands. Payne’s description of the battle-weary soldiers is poignant as well as graphic as he leads us on a dangerous journey that continues even after the war is over.

This is another stellar read. Payne is meticulous. A former reporter, he pays attention to detail and strives always to be historically correct. The Trail Through Hell is a compelling novel and is a “must read” for WWII aficionados and those like me whose fathers and grandfathers lived through the final days of the war with the Japanese.

Highly recommended. Five big, bright, shiny stars. To check this novel out on Amazon, click here: