Brandon Condley survived five years of combat in Vietnam as a marine only to lose the woman he loved to an enemy assassin. Now he is back, and working to recover the remains of unknown American soldiers. On a routine mission, Condley finds a body that doesn't match its dog tags - a body that propels him into a vortex of violence and intrigue where ...
Brandon Condley survived five years of combat in Vietnam as a marine only to lose the woman he loved to an enemy assassin. Now he is back, and working to recover the remains of unknown American soldiers. On a routine mission, Condley finds a body that doesn't match its dog tags - a body that propels him into a vortex of violence and intrigue where past and present become one. As the mystery of the dead man unravels, a link is revealed to two notorious assassins, 'Salt and Pepper', who led a deadly Viet Cong ambush against Condley's own men. Galvanized by a fresh trail to these long-lost deserters, Condley has finally found a purpose: under the auspices of his government job, he is going to hunt down the traitors. On his own, he is going to kill them. Condley's hunt cannot be kept secret from his former enemies, or his friends. And in the shadows that linger from Vietnam's long season of darkness and terror, he has no way of knowing which side is more dangerous.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-07-09 Webb's cultural and political portrayal of Vietnam 25 years after the war's end is delivered with such bold strokes and magical detail that it really doesn't matter that the plot itself is relegated to the backseat. This is a highly personal and empathetic look at today's Vietnam, a land of misery and inequity, yet one still vibrantly alive. The story follows the experiences of Brandon Condley, an ex-Marine whose job it is to find missing American soldiers, dead or alive. Condley is trying to track down Theodore Deville, an army grunt who not only deserted his unit in 1969 and killed a fellow serviceman, but then joined the ranks of the enemy. Condley is convinced Deville is still alive, operating somewhere in southeast Asia's underground economy. Webb introduces a rich cast of supporting characters as Condley pursues his quarry across Vietnam, Australia, the former Soviet Union and Thailand. Among the most delicately etched is Dzung, a former South Vietnamese officer now relegated, like thousands of others on the losing side, to a menial station in life, one that he and his family have no hope of escaping. Such characters, as well as the highly textured mood and atmosphere that Webb creates, tend to further eclipse the main narrative and shift the focus to the moral consequences and social fallout of the war. This detailed, lovingly drawn portrait of Vietnam reveals a sad, tortured country that has never recovered from the horrifying events of a quarter-century ago. Major print and radio advertising. (Sept. 4) Forecast: Webb (Fields of Fire) is no stranger to the bestseller lists; endorsements from heavy hitters like Sen. John McCain will help put him there once again. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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