Book Review: The Valley by John Renehan



The Valley
Author: John Renehan
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Released: March 1st 2016
Review Source: Dutton | NetGalley



An intricate mystery unfolds against the backdrop of the Afghanistan war in this former Army Captain's gripping portrait of a fighting division holding a remote outpost.

"You're going up the Valley."

Black didn't know its name, but he knew it lay deeper and higher than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Everything about the place was myth and rumor, but one fact was clear: There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst.

When Black, a deskbound admin officer, is sent up the Valley to investigate a warning shot fired by a near-forgotten platoon, he can only see it as the final bureaucratic insult in a short and unhappy Army career. What he doesn't know is that the warning shot was not the worst crime in the Valley before his arrival, and his investigation will not only disturb the platoon's dark secrets but launch a shattering personal odyssey of obsession and discovery.

The Valley is a mind-bending mystery and a riveting tour de force that announces John Renehan as a great American storyteller.


The Valley is more of a mystery story than a military tale. So if you're a fan of mystery, then you should give this a try.

Lieutenant Black is about to embark a mission in which will put him into many trials. A mission in which he will need to trust his instincts and go with his conscious is advising him to do. There are times in which laws are written put it doesn't make them right. He will questioned these. A dilemma of being the perfect solider or a true hero. As Black is caught into an enigma in a remotest valley of Afghanistan, he will need to make his own decisions.

Let me say, I was in awe in how well written this book is. It felt so real. Like you were there with Lieutenant Black. You felt hostile, confused and scared. You didn't know what Black would do. Is he going to follow the book or is he going to trust his instincts? It was chaotic. What was the truth? What was he supposed to do?

Overall, I really enjoyed following Black's journey. He was a good character to cheer for. Follow him in this adventure, it's a good story to read.



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