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Salisbury man publishes second novel

Philip M. Herman has written a brief novel or novella called “Behind the Canvas.” It is a sequel to his first book, “Changing Shadows,” from 2011.

It is a story involving art theft, art forgery and the disappearance of priceless art during World War II. The Nazis stole and saved many famous works of art from throughout Europe as Germany overran the countries.

Herman uses the story to describe the artist Vermeer. A Vermeer painting has gone missing from the house of a wealthy family that collected art.

Part of the action takes place in Richmond, Va., and part in Paris. Jason Talbot is assigned to “the art squad” in the Richmond police department and must deal with shifty art dealers, corrupt lawyers and mysterious figures in black suits.

The detective’s lover is also an art dealer with a secret in her past that ties in to the current case.

If you have not read “Changing Shadows,” you will feel “Behind the Canvas” is lacking in details about Talbot and his lover, Charlotte, as well as background on what appears to be a continuing story about forged and stolen art.

Both books are available on Amazon.

On ‘Bookwatch’

Dan Bolger talks about “Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars” on “North Carolina Bookwatch,” today at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger teaches at N.C. State. Here is the shocking opener of his book: “I am a United States Army general, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism.”

Bolger writes, “It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous; step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem, to wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry.”

Just what did Bolger and the other generals do wrong in Afghanistan and Iraq?

He writes, “Despite the unmatched courage of those in U.S. uniform — including a good number of generals who led their people under fire — our generals did not stumble due to a lack of intellect. Rather, we faltered due to a distinct lack of humility. Certain we knew best, confident our skilled troops would prevail, we persisted in a failed course for far too long and came up well short, to the detriment of our trusting countrymen.”

These pages should be required reading for any president or presidential candidate who proposes to send American troops again to fight an extended counterinsurgency war.

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