THE VALLEY                                          JOHN RENEHAN

 “You’re going up the Valley.”

Black didn’t know its name, but he knew it lay deeper and higher than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Everything about the place was myth and rumor, but one fact was clear: There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst.

When Black, a deskbound admin officer, is sent up the Valley to investigate a warning shot fired by a near-forgotten platoon, he can only see it as the final bureaucratic insult in a short and unhappy Army career. What he doesn’t know is that his investigation puts at risk the centuries-old arrangements that keep this violent land in fragile balance, and will launch a shattering personal odyssey of obsession and discovery as Black reckons with the platoon’s dark secrets, accumulated over endless hours fighting and dying in defense of an indefensible piece of land.

The Valley is a riveting tour de force that changes our understanding of the men who fight our wars and announces John Renehan as one of the great American storytellers of our time. 

This was a well written and very detail story of an army officer Lt. Black who is a desk officer being sent deep into the valley of Afghanistan to do an investigation. He knows that this is not a place he really wants to be and neither does the men assigned to the post. Once there he makes do and begins his investigation and he must also go into a village and speak to the chief who started this investigation. Things are not what they seem on paper and before he knows it they are leaving the village. Barley getting back they are expecting to get attacked, which happens. They come under fire just about every night and he begins to see that there is more to this story. Once he finds out and starts putting the pieces together they are attacked again and this time it is a mass assault where they are losing the post. With help of a gunship they get control but a lot of men are wounded, by the time he figures it all out he is abroad a medevac helicopter. Let me first say this is a good story and written very good, but for the people who want to read true life story about the valley. Read the outpost by Jake Tapper, who takes you to the real story of the 53 soldiers of outpost Keating against 400 Taliban. You then get a real feeling for the battles these men were up against and still are. I normally don’t put another book in my review but I thought people should know. Also two men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions. Back to the book the Valley, it is a good book and I enjoyed it very much. I got this book from  I gave this book 4 stars. Follow us at

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