The Preserve: A Novel

Book Cover


1940s & '50s

Steve Anderson

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The US Territory of Hawaii, 1948: A WWII veteran turned deserter seeks a cure to his combat fatigue (PTSD) at a mysterious facility called the Preserve, but his handlers aim to turn him into a vile assassin for a deadly plot that runs all the way to General MacArthur.


Action,Adventure,Crime,Drama,Mystery,Suspense/Thriller,Historical Fiction,War

Short Summary

Wendell Lett, a WWII hero turned deserter on the lam, reports to a secret base for a cure to his severe “combat fatigue” (PTSD). Lett will do anything to rid himself of his nightmares and violent episodes. And he thinks he’s cut a good deal: he won't be tried for desertion if he takes the treatment.

After narrowly fleeing the Preserve with his fellow resister Kanani, Lett finds safe haven in a remote rainforest valley on Hawaii. Here, Lett learns that Kanani and her confidante Miss Mae intend to repay his allegiance to them by funding his secret passage back to his wife and boy in Belgium.


Hawaii, The Philippines, Belgium (backstory only)

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Wendell Lett

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Empathetic,Honorable,Underdog,Lone Wolf,Secretive,Skillful,Selfless,Modest,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Kanani Alana

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Criminal,Desperate,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Greedy,Lone Wolf,Manipulative,Seductive,Secretive,Sarcastic,Blunt,Sexy,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: Lansdale

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Skillful,Blunt,Patriotic,Aspiring,Criminal,Confident,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Seductive,Secretive,Power Hungry,Narcisstic,Villainous,Decisive,Greedy

Additional Character Details

Name: Charles Selfer

Age: 28

Gender: Male

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Gracious,Educated,Insecure,Narcisstic,Skillful,Secretive,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Engaging,Empathetic,Faithful,Naive,Power Hungry

Development Pitch

The US Territory of Hawaii, 1948: Troubled WWII hero turned deserter Wendell Lett is desperately seeking a cure to his severe combat trauma, and a secret facility called The Preserve seems to be his salvation. Together with Kanani Alana, a tough-minded Hawaiian also looking for a new start at The Preserve, Lett begins to feel hopeful. Lett’s illusions are soon shattered when he discovers The Preserve’s true intentions—to rebuild him into a cold-blooded assassin. The deadly conspiracy runs deep, all the way to General Douglas MacArthur, and Lett’s refusal to cooperate is met with merciless punishment. His only hope is Kanani and her dangerous escape plan—if they can survive the harsh wilderness of the Big Island. The Preserve is based on true events surrounding the “Yamashita’s Gold” conspiracy. It also exists in a world all its own. It takes place after the actual war and in a unique and exotic setting. As such, it could be shot around a single Hawaii location, including the scenes in the Philippines. The story works well as a film but also as one season of a TV series. My other book featuring main character Wendell Lett, Under False Flags, could serve as a second or first season. Wendell Lett is an intriguing character for any actor. As Publisher’s Weekly noted in their review, "Readers will root for Wendell, with his unrelenting demons, as he soldiers on, fighting for his sanity and his life."

About The Author

Steve Anderson is the author of the Kaspar Brothers novels (The Losing Role, Liberated, Lost Kin) and other books. Under False Flags is the prequel to his latest novel, The Preserve. Anderson was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany and is a translator of bestselling German fiction as well as a freelance editor. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available