When Paul Brenner gets an email from his former commanding officer, Colonel Karl Hellman, asking him to meet him at the Wall, Washington's monument to the Vietnam dead, he knows it's bound to be trouble.
The Wall contains the names of all the soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War - with a single exception. One of the soldiers, a young lieutenant, didn't die in battle: he was shot by his captain. Now, thirty years later, Hellman wants Brenner to go back to Vietnam to find the only witness to the crime.A death wish, survivor's guilt - Brenner doesn't know why he agrees to help. Vietnam is not the place he left all those years ago, and as Brenner heads up country in pursuit of his target, he realises his search is far bigger than just finding one man. . .
Nelson DeMille has carved out a considerable reputation as one of America's most popular authors, and each new title from him is something of an event. In this one, Paul Brenner receives an email from Colonel Karl Hellman setting up a meeting. Brenner is apprehensive: Hellman was his commanding officer in the army's Criminal Investigation Division but Brenner's investigation of the murder of Captain Ann Campbell obliged him to take early retirement. Brenner meets Hellman at the Wall, Washington's monument to the Vietnam dead, which is inscribed with the names of all the GIs killed in action during the war - except one, a young lieutenant not killed in battle but shot by his own captain in Quang Tri, the province in which Brenner also served. Now Brenner finds himself obliged to go back to Vietnam to track down the only witness to the crime, an ex-Vietnamese soldier called Tran Van Vinh. Few people can bring off the epic thriller with quite the panache of DeMille, and like The Lion's Game, this one juggles several narrative strands in a continent-spanning adventure that is distinguished by the intelligence of its writing. All of the customary bestselling elements are on display here: there's violence, sex and tension, and the author's well-known skill at characterization makes Brenner a solid protagonist. But what makes the book a truly enjoyable experience is DeMille's unerring grasp of pace: he knows exactly how to ratchet up the tension and then release the reader to impart some crucial information before getting our pulses racing again. At over 650 pages, the reader might occasionally feel that there's a shorter book in here struggling to get out, but anyone caught up in the sweep of this epic won't put it down in a hurry. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 864
Published: September 2002
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.8 x 10.9
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1