This is an engrossing story of five men who serve together in Vietnam, forming an unbreakable bond during months of protecting a small village from the Viet Cong. They return home traumatized and adrift from their previous lives. During this time of war it is not always recognized that battle changes soldiers and often support from family and friends, even medical care is needed for them to find normalcy again.
The year is 2000. Mike Lantern is now a plumber, Al Shorely is a square peg in a round hole, protected by Mike since grade school, Barry Terkovski is a butcher, Vince Couch installs alarm systems, and last, there is Sam Patroni, locksmith. Besides the war these five are bound by their hidden sense of justice. In maintaining their friendship they have agreed no one must know of it, including their families. Dysfunction began decades ago and has become their normalcy.
Detective Karl Whaler, Diet Cola chugging addict, has one other item that drives him, murder. Finding the murderer of Mark Mansfled is a tough one. Mansfled is a nice guy, no enemies, loved by everyone who has ever had contact with him. What could he have done to make someone hate him that much? There are clues but absolutely no suspects. Whaler has always thought he’ll probably work til he falls dead at his desk. By the time this investigation is finished he finds retirement doesn’t look so bad.
This book goes back and forth in the timeline which I usually don’t like, but this time it makes for two engrossing stories. At one point the suspense was so good I was tempted to check the last page, nobody ever does that. Right? I’m glad I didn’t, but I do admit I did read faster. The author exhibited great control over his characters and the storyline. The one character I really disliked still had his moment in the spotlight, which added to an already intense book.
So onto the ratings:
- Level of sexuality: Mild.
- Genre and reading age: Suspense. Adults will enjoy the complexity.
- Graphic language: Mild.
- Did I cry: No.
- Did I laugh: No.
- Character development: The players are really well developed and we are exposed to many of the highs and lows of their lives, well a lot of lows. It’s interesting to see some of the changes they go through.
How could I possibly give less than 5 stars!