"Secret Witness reads like a Jim Thompson noir novel, burrowing into the dark crevices of the rural American landscape. But this is no fictional work of fevered imagination; it's the real thing. Blaine Pardoe nimbly explores his story of murder, sex, and psychopaths in what makes for a crackling good read. This is a real 'can't put it down' page turner!" —Arnie Bernstein, author of Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing
"Novelist and nonfiction author Pardoe (Lost Eagles) reconstructs the day of the bombing, the investigation, Chism's trial and conviction, and the aftermath. The heightened terror of these events is compared with Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. However, with a cast of more than 80, this compelling crime tale provides a peek into small-town secrets that reads less like Hitchcock and more like the sordidness of a Grace Metalious novel." Publisher's Weeklyhttp://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-472-11823-6
"Recreating unsolved or unresolved crimes requires intesive and meticulous research which Pardoe undertakes with excriciating accuracy." Culpeper Times
On Lost Eagles "The pilot and observer stories selected have not previously seen much exposure. Not only are they interesting, but I found myself relishing getting to the next chapter to find out what Frederick Zinn was doing during the next stage of his life." Alan Roesler, founding member, League of World War I Aviation Historians, and former Managing Editor, Over the Front
"Pardoe’s bookis a thoroughly-researched, engaging account of Frederick Zinn’s life work. It is an essential study for anyone interested in American aviation history." Historical Society of Michigan, September 2011
"...this book tells a compelling and long-overdue story. It renders a great service to the memory of Frederick Zinn and to the "Lost Eagles" he refused to leave behind. Highly recommended." Review in Over The Front, Summer 2011
"In the midst of the carnage that was World War I, there is something redemptive and humanizing abou the life ofa man who was well-nigh obsessed with doing the gut-wrenching work of finding comrades remians, not only to bring a sense of closer to the surviving families, but also to dignify those remins with a proper burial." Review by Colonel John Plating, US Air Force Academy, in The Michigan Historical Review, Fall 2011.
On Pardoe's Terror of the Autumn Skies: History aficionado Joe David says the book is extremely well researched. "I'd recommend it," he said, "especially to World War I buffs since there aren't that many WWI books out there." New Biography on Frank Luke Tries to Set the Record Straight Ajo Copper News, October 1, 2008
Booklist 7/1/08 Terror of the Autumn Skies:The Story of Frank Luke, America's Rogue Ace of World War I. By Blaine Pardoe. This painstaking biography of World War I ace Frank Luke will earn Pardoe kudos, even if some readers may prefer fewer romantic references to pilots flying into the sunset than Pardoe affords. Pardoe, however, has flown a very straight course in researching and recounting Luke's myth-ridden life. Born to a respectable family in Phoenix, Luke certainly had a wild streak but was also a natural pilot. His combat career was short--basically, the autumn of 1918--but he ran up a score of 14 German balloons (more dangerous targets than German planes) and four enemy fighters before being shot down and killed by German ground guns defending a descending balloon. Thorough annotation makes the book that much more valuable to WWI aviation scholars as well as for more casual air-combat buffs.--Roland Green
“Best description I have read about the downing of observation balloons in World War I, and how appropriate in a new biography of Frank Luke, Jr., the Arizona balloon buster. In a quick-read, fast-paced narrative, Blaine Pardoe refreshingly re-tells, and corrects, the story of Frank Luke’s life and amazing aerial exploits.” Jack Ballard: Author of War Bird Ace: The Great War Exploits of Captain Field E. Kindley
“Much has been written about Luke in the past (including by this writer), but in Terror of the Autumn Skies, Blaine Pardoe contributes the fruits of dedicated research into the man, his family, the fiancée whose love for him endured throughout her lifetime and the complexities of his true personality. The author also devotes much space to separating the truth from the fiction that grew around Luke’s short, meteoric career. Even stripped of the often grotesque embellishments added by hack hagiographers and sensationalists, Frank Luke’s actual accomplishments stand up quite well enough.” Jon Guttman, Noted military historian and author.
“Terror.. is a must read for both aviators and WWI historians or buffs. Luke springs off the pages and we see, hear, and smell the scenes of history. Pardoe's extensive use of primary documentation gives an accurate picture of American aviation as well as warfare of this era. The bibliography alone can be an invaluable tool to researchers.” Marilyn Chang, Director. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Research Library
"Pardoe has a knack for weaving a compelling story while
interspersing factual and historical information. The reader will come
away with a thorough knowledge of what life was like for aviators on the
front of the Great War." Shedding Light on a Hero, Culpeper Star Exponent, October 2, 2008 By Ray Finefrock
What Others Historians and Authors Say About Blaine Pardoe and the Cruise of the Sea Eagle:
“Blaine Pardoe has taken a true-life World War I episode of daring on the high seas, and has spun it into an old style swashbuckler. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself rooting for the pirates!” Sherry Sontag, co-author of the bestselling Blind Man’s Bluff, the Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage.
“Felix von Luckner may have been the last of the privateers, a German sea “pirate” whose sailing ship was an anachronism in World War I, and whose adventures seem too good to be true. Blaine Pardoe’s wonderful account of this adventurer would make several films if audiences could believe it all really happened, which it did.” Professor William C. Davis, Virginia Tech, author of over 50 books including the highly acclaimed Three Roads to the Alamo.
"This is a gem of a story, well told, and nicely laid out with photos, maps, and
charts that cleverly illuminate the lost era of ‘gentlemen pirates' at sea . . .
[German commerce raider Felix von Luckner's] legend lives on in this lively and
readable biography." Vice Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy, Naval