Now the press, army justice, and the events he tried to forget have caught up with Ben Tyson. His family, his career, and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance. And only one woman can reveal the truth of his past -- and set him free.
©2009 Nelson DeMille; (P)2009 Hachette
"The flashbacks to Hue, the pre-trial investigation (involving an attractive female major), the court-martial proceedings, the emotions of the principal characters and the soul-sickness wrought by war (which is the story's effective subtext) all are depicted with marvelous vividness." (Publishers Weekly)
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
I thought I'd read all of DeMille's works, but I missed this one. I loved the story, the intrigue, the narration and characters. I rated it 4 stars only because it seemed to take too long to get to the action. Nevertheless, it is well worth its price.
Every chapter begins with "Ben Tyson" did something. After some number of hours, I started to dread the start of a new chapter. It's grating. The book is OK; the last 1/3 redeems it. The first 2/3 were not eye-opening to me who lived through that era (at least part of it), but the last 1/3 addresses more complex questions of guilt, loyalty, and respect.
I was really looking forward to listening to this book. I've listened to all of Nelson Demille's other books but this one surprised and somewhat disappointed me. While I've come to enjoy the generally sarcastic nature of Demille's protagonists, in the end they are usually lovable, honorable guys. In this book, I found Ben Tyson to be sarcastic, just like most of Demille's lead characters, but in the end he never came through as a good guy. He seemed confused and conflicted about his role in the massacre, but he never tries to defend or explain himself. We never find out why he did what he did, other than vague "horrors of war", which is probably the most realistic reason, but not one that lends to an interesting story.
Tyson's family sticks with him throughout the trial, but he never acknowledges or appreciates their support and devotion. Even at the end, he's entertaining adulterous thoughts about another woman, despite his wife remained devoted and faithful to him during the ordeal. The story was, and remains for me, incongruous and unexplainable.
Also - I really can't stand Scott Brick as a narrator anymore. He makes everyone sound like they are irritable snobs.
What can I say. This is a very very very good book. The length of the book is irrelevant as the story takes you in with the characters. I was truly mesmerized with the story and with the fact that there is no way to know how the ending will play out until you finish it. I highly recommend this as a listen.
As usual, DeMille grabs your interest in the first paragraph and holds it till the last line. Always a different plot too. If I have any complaint it is that voiced by Robert Lewis Stephenson after reading Crime and Punishment; upon completion, I felt like I finally recovered from a near fatal illness. But, I couldn't put it down.
Slow and steady wins the race, but doesn't make for a great book.
This is a very good story with an exceptionally good premise, held back by a serious lack of editing.
Essentially, it's an okay, if dull and plodding, listen, narrated in a rather monotonous fashion.
You know the basic story within the first few chapters and then you have to wade through 20 plus hours to get to the end. I really love DeMille,, but not this book
Say something about yourself!
It took me a while to get into this book. For me, it started off slow, but by the end I was completely mesmerized.. It was longer than many, which I really like. Definitely worth a listen. One of my favorite Nelson DeMille books yet.
Don't take this wrong, I have loved every Nelson DeMille book I have listened to with the exception of this one. I was bored out of my gourd and kept fast forwarding to find somthing more than the main character arguing with his wife or his lawyer. Idle talk that went on and on with no real substance. I waited, I was persistant, I knew DeMille would show the John Corey wit or Paul Brenner skull bashing but It never came. No one like the lovely Kate Mayfield to contrast with the main character. My review is more entertaining than this book. I gave up and will return it.
Story was a bit slow for me, however, it picked up towards the end. If you like Vietnam war stories, you won't be disappointed. Scott Brick is a little weak on the female voice.
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