Monday, May 1, 2017

David E. Grogan - Sapphire Pavilion - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Steve Stilwell’s former Navy JAG Corps buddy Ric Stokes has been jailed for possession of heroin in Vietnam. He was found in the same room with his traveling companion Ryan Eversall, dead of an overdose and in the company of a prostitute. Steve knows his friend is a straight arrow. Was he set up? If so, for what reason? Steve travels to Ho Chi Minh City in search of the truth. In no time Steve is targeted by the people who framed his friend. A beautiful young American businesswoman insinuates her way into the case. Can she really help, or is she just a dangerous distraction? Ric and Ryan came to Vietnam in search of an Air Force transport plane that disappeared in 1968. The pilot was Ryan’s father. Before the heroin bust, they had located the wreckage. Ryan’s notebook, which Steve manages to obtain, spells out the exact location. Ryan’s widow has given Steve’s associate Casey another piece of valuable evidence, a file labeled “Sapphire Pavilion.” Someone is willing to go to any lengths to steal both the notebook and the file. From Virginia and Texas to DC and Vietnam, powerful, all-seeing forces with unlimited resources are determined to bury the truth about Sapphire Pavilion. But they have grossly underestimated Steve Stilwell and his associate Casey, a former Army pilot who lost her leg in a helo accident. And the ability to inspire loyalty wherever you go can come in handy when danger lurks behind every corner.

My Review

Sometimes a supporting character really steals the show, and in this one it's an ex-Army fighter pilot, who just so happens to be a woman.

Her name is Casey and after completing a grueling rehab stint at Walter Reed—as the facility's only female amputee, no less—she's currently in the private sector, looking for work. It hasn't been easy finding employment since she's still suffering the affects of PTSD, unable to get over the crash that claimed the life of her co-pilot. The cause was determined to be a mechanical failure, yet she can't put the sense of lingering guilt behind her.

So when a former JAG attorney turned civilian offers her a position in his law firm, she's overjoyed, especially when he tells her that he's okay with her full schedule of treatment appointments at the VA. He not only understands, but encourages her on the road to making a full recovery. He doesn't avoid talking about her leg, he accepts her for who she is, and that is pretty cool.

However, Casey faces difficulties from the get go, when on her very first assignment, she has to console a woman who just lost her husband. Not only that, but it occurs right on the heels of the annual Memorial Day phone call she makes to the widow of her co-pilot.

Casey's emotions are the brink, but all is not lost. Throughout the course of the story she battles through them, even when she feels like giving up when terrible things keep happening to her. On assignment, she's attacked by an assailant in the bathroom of her hotel room. Then she has to use her prosthetic leg to break through a window to escape a blazing office fire. But through it all, she doesn't let anything stop her. She continues on, until the case is solved.

In the end, she's even able to work through the issues from her past. At the conclusion of the book, while attending a service at Arlington National Cemetery, jets fly overhead in the missing man formation. And at that moment, she's given a rare second chance to honor her dead co-pilot, whose funeral she was unable to attend on account of her injuries.

Now, finally, after all these years, she's able to walk away with a bit of peace in her soul and a much-needed "W" in the win column.


Sapphire Pavilion can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 280
Release: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603816038
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

David E. Grogan was born in Rome, New York, and was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a B.B.A. in Accounting, he began working for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co., in Houston, Texas, as a Certified Public Accountant. He left Arthur Andersen in 1984 to attend the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia, graduating in 1987. He earned his Masters in International Law from The George Washington University Law School and is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Grogan served on active duty in the United States Navy for over 26 years as a Navy Judge Advocate. He is now retired, but during the course of his Navy career, he prosecuted and defended court-martial cases, traveled to capitals around the world, lived abroad in Japan, Cuba and Bahrain, and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf onboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. His experiences abroad and during the course of his career influence every aspect of his writing. Sapphire Pavilion is his second novel. His first was The Siegel Dispositions.

Grogan’s current home is in Savoy, Illinois, where he lives with his wife of 33 years and their dog, Marley. He has three children.

Links to connect with David:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Connie - Thanks for your review! I'm really glad you enjoyed Casey. As you know, women are on the front lines of our fighting forces, so Casey's story is timely and relevant. We need to understand the impact of their sacrifices. V/r, Dave Grogan

  2. The setting caught my attention. A long time since I read a book set in Vietnam.

  3. Mary, I had never been to Vietnam before I wrote the book, so I took 10 days and toured Saigon, DaLat in the Central Highlands, Hue City and Khe Sanh. The country is absolutely beautiful and the people are very friendly. I especially enjoyed wandering around the streets of Saigon and Hue City. After touring during the day, I'd take a diet Coke and my iPad down to the hotel restaurant and write in the evening while the scenes where still fresh in my mind. I'd have to say it was an amazing trip.