I can’t think of a Del Staecker novel that I haven’t loved since I met him in Orlando, FL, at an early Military Writers Society Meeting in 2010. His book, “The Lady Gangster: A Sailor’s Memoir” stole my heart first. Perhaps because of my own complicated relationship with my World War Two Marine veteran father, Del’s book touched chord after chord for me. Many other baby boomers have embraced that particular piece for the same reasons that I did. So, while I loved Del‘s work on this subject, I assumed this was it. He’d honored his father like I did mine as did so many others…but that was it.
Then came SAILOR MAN about a young fellow who lied about his age to enlist in the Navy, during World War Two. This book also rang even louder bells for me …especially what PTSD did to this young man and his family…because they mirror what happened to many families from many wars over the eons.
So, I thought Del was the master if these nonfiction war related pieces and that was it. I was so wrong. Del has written a variety of novels from a trio of Ledge Trabue Thrillers…which I loved…and read one right after the other. Then there was “Tales of Tomasewski” which I devoured on a cheat day when I should have been working on my own books.
So, when Del approached me with “Tard,“ I was excited. The book moved me in so many ways. From Del’s bravery to tackle such a subject, to the beauty of how it was crafted..to the soul of what it means to be “different.”
As it says on the Amazon page, “Imagine appearing to have Down Syndrome, yet you are a genius. TARD is a multi-genre, multi-format fantasy/crime story that will lead you through and beyond cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias into a place where dreams come true.
In particular, I love Underrated Reads review: