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Scout's Honor

Updated: Jun 10

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By Adrianne Miller

In John McNellis's "Scout's Honor," readers are immersed in a gripping narrative that spans decades and traverses through the turbulent landscapes of the 1960s counterculture, the Vietnam War, and the gritty New York real estate scene of the 1970s. At the heart of this intricately woven tale is Eddie Kawadsky, a young man devastated by loss and driven by desperation into a world of crime and betrayal.

Set in 1969, Eddie's journey begins with a fateful encounter with the charismatic Roy Cross, whose promises of wealth and adventure lead Eddie down a dangerous path of drug smuggling and deceit. Betrayed and hunted, Eddie embarks on a harrowing escape, shedding his identity to become Richard Austen, a Marine serving heroically in Vietnam. Yet, even as he builds a new life for himself as a successful real estate developer in Manhattan, Eddie is haunted by his past and the specter of his own moral failings.

McNellis masterfully crafts a narrative that delves deep into themes of morality, guilt, trust, and redemption. Through Eddie's struggles and sacrifices, readers are confronted with the profound question of whether it is ever possible to truly atone for past sins. The characters in "Scout's Honor" are flawed yet compelling, their journeys interwoven in a tapestry of suspense and intrigue.

What sets "Scout's Honor" apart is its ability to seamlessly blend elements of literary fiction, thriller, and redemption tale. McNellis's prose is evocative and richly detailed, transporting readers to each era and setting with vivid clarity. From the chaos of war-torn Vietnam to the bustling streets of 1970s New York City, the novel pulses with authenticity and depth.

In conclusion, "Scout's Honor" is a sweeping epic that captivates from the first page to the last. With its unforgettable characters, intricate plot, and powerful themes, John McNellis has crafted a novel that will linger in the minds of readers long after they turn the final page. Fans of literary fiction, thrillers, and redemption tales alike will find much to love in this remarkable work.

About the Author

John McNellis

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Hastings College of The Law, John practiced law until he co-founded McNellis Partners, a Northern California shopping center development firm, in 1982.

John is a decades’ long member of the Urban Land Institute—a founding member of its Environmental Task Force—and the ICSC. He is a ULI Governor, has chaired two separate ULI Councils and served as both a Trustee and Council Councilor. He has also served on the board of directors for Lambda Alpha International (Golden Gate Chapter).

A frequent lecturer on real estate topics, John writes a monthly column for the San Francisco Business Times and is the author of the critically acclaimed books, Making it in Real Estate: Starting out as a Developer (First and Second Editions), an industry standard and taught in universities nationwide. His lecture series on YouTube is the most widely viewed of all of the ULI’s video presentations.

John is actively involved with Outward Bound USA, having served on its national board of directors and now on its advisory board. He is a past president of the board of directors of Rebuilding Together Peninsula and is a board member emeritus. He has also served on the board of directors for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center and was a seventeen-year volunteer at the Palo Alto Downtown Streets Team’s Food Closet.


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