My NOVELS

 
arrival point.jpg
Arrival Point

Monty Poltam, a State Department aid officer stationed in Vietnam since 1968, finds the murdered body of his Vietnamese lover, Renee. It is just before the American evacuation of Saigon. Monty is convinced that Renee was murdered on the orders of the mysterious "Vladimir", a Russian spy operating in Vietnam. Determined to find Vladimir, Monty goes to Hong Kong where he enlists the help of the CIA in tracking down the elusive Russian. What is the real interest of the Agency in allowing Monty to pursue his personal mission? Surprise after surprise unfolds as Monty begins to understand Vietnam and what happened to Renee and why. 

" With Arrival Point", Phillip McMath has created a tale of the post-Vietnam War period that is more authentic than most spy novels. Filled with surprises and suspense, this book is a winner with its cinema-like dialogue, its realistic characters who are not always what they seem to be, and action that moves across half the world." Dee Brown

 
The Broken Vase

Born to middle-class parents in July 1924 in Czernowitz, North Bukovina, Romania (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), Miriam Kellerman grows up in an atmosphere of culture and privilege that is interrupted when her country is invaded-first by Stalin in July 1940, then by Hitler in June 1941. Fearing for their lives, Jews like her begin to flee into the Soviet Union to escape the German advance. Separated from her parents, Deborah and Max, and later from her fiancé, Isaac, Miriam finds herself alone and on foot, trudging ever eastward. Th Broken Vase is a compelling narrative of her incredible struggle to stay alive as World War II rages. 

The Broken Vase was written in close collaboration with Holocaust survivor Penina Krupitsky, who became the fictional Miriam Kellerman. This is a story of indomitable will and courage and a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit. 

"Here is a vivid, compelling, and true story of one woman's struggle to survive the Holocaust. Part memoire, part imagination, the Broken Vase is evidence of a masterful writer bringing together his allegiance to history and his talent for storytelling."

-Andrea Hollander Budy

Broken Vase cover.jpg
 
Native Ground
native ground.jpg

Lt. Christopher Shaw is scheduled to conclude his tour of duty in Vietnam in one month. He is also scheduled to lead an offensive against the Army of North Vietnam in a matter of hours. Having heard more than he has seen about warfare, he can only find one parallel within his experience: his hunting expeditions with his father, Conrad, and his black handyman, Barrel Bradford, in the south Arkansas Delta.

Conrad Shaw, a powerful, self-made farmer and politician, is for his only son a model of hard work, fair play, and diplomacy. From Barrel, Christopher has learned to love the out-of-doors and to aspire to, despite his family's wealth, a simple, noble lifestyle unencumbered by material acquisitions. 

 

These lessons are uppermost in Christopher's mind as he takes a weekend leave in Saigon and attempts to reassimilate himself to "the World." His host, Monty Poltam, a former college roommate and now a high-level federal bureaucrat, has a vastly different perspective on war from Christopher's. In an attempt to reconcile the two points of view as he returns to the front, Christopher stays his mind on the one constant in his life, his native ground. 

"Dialogue is McMath's great tool for unfolding plot, describing characters, and building tension and conflict. Words are propelled like the bullets that form the background score of the novel."

- Janelle Lacino, The Bloomsbury Review

Lost Kingdoms

Now in Lost Kingdoms, the fictional Elizabeth flashes back via grief and remembrance on the death of her son, a Marine hero killed in Vietnam. Through this medium of memory and loss is woven in the lives of several families the tragic story of Arkansas, the South, Southwest, and Mexico, which slowly emerges as a philosophical-historical tapestry not only as a tale uniquely its own but a comment on the meaning of history itself.

Phillip McMath has virtually a musician's ear for dialect and dialogue that suffuses this grand Southern epic of war and peace. A deft combination of family saga and transcendental history, the book pays special attention to the Civil War in Arkansas and explores the shared lives of blacks and whites in a particularly engaging way. Anyone who doubts that the South was and still is a country needs to read Lost Kingdoms. 

- Morris S. Arnold, author of Unequal Laws Unto a Savage Race

lost kingdoms.jpg