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“Top” by Todd Lincoln Richards - IHIBRP 5-Star Book Review

A Remarkable Coming Of Age Story!

Why would a highly decorated Vietnam veteran stuff an old military trunk full of his most cherished belongings under the wave of a suspension bridge, leaving it for a gregarious thirteen-year-old boy to find by chance? That’s what the young lad, David Wells, intends to find out.

Richards’ powerful and emotional, coming of age adventure, “Top”, brings together two individuals, from two very different eras, and unites them in a revealing and turbulent journey of the soul.

In everyone’s life, there is a moment of change, and that change comes to David Wells, a typical young and impressionable teenager, the day he meets Richards’ crusty and curmudgeonly Master Sergeant Fernando Reed. This story grips a reader’s interest and paces itself well as it winds through Top’s past, revealing highly detailed and colorful memories of a fully-fleshed life based on the writer’s extensive historical research.

In “Top”, Richards puts together a provocative and compelling memoir-style tale that could very likely belong to any real-life Vietnam veteran. “Top takes a hard look at the ravages of the controversial Vietnam War through the eyes of a highly-decorated disabled Marine as, bit by bit, he reveals his past to an avidly curious teenage boy. Top’s days of military service, a difficult homecoming, his marriage and family issues, his coping with PTSD and a degenerative physical condition, and his psychological breakdown are all topic of discussion between Top and the boy, giving readers a unique perspective of war seen through the eyes of an innocent young kid.

I happened to read “Top” during the 2018 Veterans Day weekend, and as a historian, I not only found Richards’ research impressive, his message was clearly profound. Few under the age of 40 appreciate the real-life impact the Vietnam War has on those of us who lived through those years and are now grown with several generations beneath us. Without fail, the Vietnam War was part of our own coming-of-age. It was streamed into our living rooms on a nightly basis—guns blazing and bombs bursting, shocking and awing us as we ate supper on TV tables watching those bloody scenes.

“Top” takes readers into those post-war years and adjusts the microscope. The result is an examination of our country’s current state of affairs, our politicians’ propensity to repeat past mistakes time and time again, and the average Joe’s deep-seated and longing sense of patriotism.

The value of our veterans is shown in the price they’ve paid by going to war and fighting for our country’s ideals. Truth, loyalty, freedom, and liberty... Those are the reasons they served, despite the political power-struggles, military advantages, and secret agendas plotted by politicos working in the background. We, as a nation—as their family and friends—must never forget their service...

Never forget— That is the ultimate message of Todd Lincoln Richards’ “Top”.

Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!

Find “Top” by Todd Lincoln Richards on Amazon & Kindle here.

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