About the Book

Pink MistThe Cold War is ending while the Middle East is heating up. A young Marine Corps Officer, Josh Cavanaugh, struggles to survive the most elite flight school in the world, explore friendship, find love, and make sense of the new world order. Shortly before Desert Storm, without UN authorization, he accepts a dangerous secret mission, Operation Wet Campus, to destroy a weapon system that was illegally sold to Iraq by a rogue American defense contractor. The mission goes exactly as planned, then horribly wrong, throwing the young patriot and his American dream into chaos.

About the Author

J Kevin Cleary is an American expat living in Beijing. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, he held a commission in the United States Navy. In 1993 he accepted a post at the prestigious Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute in northern China. In 1994, he returned home and co-founded an IT company with worldwide operations. In 2002, he punched-out, sold everything, and moved to Prague to focus on writing. He eventually drifted back to China, where he now resides, travels, teaches literature and explores the region.

Contact J Kevin Cleary

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Vivid, rich, raw

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Vivid, rich and colorful in descriptions, raw in illustrations of events and human emotions.

Unpredictability in the story development, willingness to expose his character’s flaws, and thus the author’s unconcern about his readers’ expectations – is what makes this book a great read!

Definitely looking forward to Part II and III.

Best book since Hyperion

Format: Hardcover
Pink Mist is one of the most exhilarating novels I read in the past few years. Characters are fleshed out, grounded and layered in the most interesting ways. There are pacing issues and moments that aren’t tied up perfectly (which maybe where a sequel could tie up) but other than that it’s the best page turner I’ve read in years. Truly, duly recommended. Pink Mist.

Beautifully crafted story of a fascinating blind spot in history

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cleary’s book tackles the period just after the Soviet Collapse and the following build up to Desert Storm. It’s a time when, the US, didn’t have a clear rival on the world stage and had to massively rethink it’s geo-political strategy. We follow navy pilot, Josh Cavanaugh, as he graduates from flight school and then becomes a part of a clandestine operation in the Middle East. The book is not a sweeping account that jumps from place to place with dramatic plot turning points on every page, but rather an in-depth exploration of a man expected to do his duty at all cost, but is unable to fully commit to that because of the hardwired moral code within him.

This book is not a John Grisham style of novel. It’s much slower, with more time given to the characters and the places they inhabit. You feel like you really know these people and can almost smell and hear their surroundings. The prose is beautiful and the dialogue is smart and engaging. I’m not a big fan of contemporary fiction because much of it doesn’t leave a lasting impression on you. It’s all plot and no substance. And when you’re done, you can barely remember anything. Much of the story is a blur in your mind, like a Michael Bay movie. This book is not like that at all. And I feel like I could read it again and again and each time I would uncover new layers of meaning, much like you would a classical novel.

I fully recommend this book, not just because I enjoy savoring good prose, but because it covers a fascinating blind spot in history. It’s the first of a trilogy and I look forward to reading the second book which takes place in China.


Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader. I read in parks, cabs, cafes, subways, my easy chair or wherever I find myself with time. Bookstores are a magnate for me but I use Amazon as well for convenience. I like to stock up without a plan. Sometimes I’m disappointed, sometimes, my expectations are met and every now and then I am blown away. I picked up Pink Mist by J. Kevin Cleary on impulse. I was going to read for an hour or so to see how it went. At dawn I finished it. The sun was coming up and I had to go to work. I cursed Cleary for being so riveting and making me main line coffee to get through my day. I’d worked in the mid-east, visited China and spent too much time in Florida. It all came back with vivid colors and customs. He’s obviously been there. The characters were so real and engaging, the sweep was magnificent and the politics and intrigue were completely timely and believable. It is evidently slated to be a trilogy. I plan on reading the next installment on a Friday or Saturday night. I suggest strongly you do the same. But whenever you get your hands on it go for it. You will be enthralled and get to see the dawn come up. Then curse Clear for being so damn good and stumble off to work.
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