Vivienne

Richard Hoyt, Author
Richard Hoyt, Author Forge $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-87661-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 285 pages - 978-0-8125-7862-1
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-4289-2
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Hoyt abandons his Northwest private detective series (Whoo?; Bigfoot) to immerse himself in the tangled moral and sociopolitical issues of the Vietnam War. During the costly Vietcong Tet Offensive in 1968, the VC insurgents capture the ancient city of Hue and deal an embarrassing blow to the Marine guard at the American Embassy in Saigon. Ex-GI Jim Quint, a reporter for a Honolulu paper, is assigned to cover a speech by Gen. William Westmoreland intended as damage control. Accompanying Westmoreland is career intelligence officer Col. Del Lambert, golden boy scion of a wealthy Hawaiian family. Lambert seems to know a lot about Quint and insists on introducing the reporter to his beautiful Vietnamese wife, Vivienne. At dinner on his opulent estate in Vietnam, Lambert invites Quint to participate in a twisted game of brinkmanship, tantalizing the reporter with Vivienne's naked body. His true intentions are soon revealed: Lambert believes Vivienne knows the whereabouts of missing CBS film documenting a notorious but unproven VC massacre at the village of Lon Be. The army officer promises Quint that he will free Vivienne from their loveless marriage if Quint can get Vivienne to reveal the location of the missing film. Building sexual urgency and suspense every step of the way, Hoyt skillfully weaves a vivid tapestry around the day-to-day headlines of the crucial presidential election year of 1968. This hard-hitting drama should please fans of Hoyt's detective fiction, and could do especially well if marketed to readers of mainstream and military thrillers, as well as to the mystery fans who will recognize Hoyt's name. (Dec.)
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