Don Sampson, a much-decorated Vietnam veteran, finds himself transported back to February 1944 and into the midst of the Allies' Italian campaign, where he is caught up in a desperate mission to foil the deployment of a last-resort German weapon.
Dan Samson is a 20th century man who has finally passed a moral threshold, earning the right to make just such a backward journey. He dies and wakes as a past version of himself, usually selfish, petty and often evil. In every case Dan seems to arrive just in time to realize what crap his past incarnation has dug himself into but also in time to have a slim chance of turning things around. The other common thread is that he always seems to die in battle. Fate plays a big part in his career choices, friends and particularly, his enemies. You see, Dan is not the only one with past lives.
John Barnes' writing is tight and riveting but it's the ideas that make his books special. Each of us struggles with inner demons but nothing like Dan's. He is a good man who must constantly work to convert garbage into gladiolas despite the hatred and entrenched expectations of everyone around him. I have often wanted to go back and do things differently, through Time Raider we get to share in the ultimate extension of that desire.