A Hand to Execute: A Suspense Novel of Vietnam and Murder

Randy Lee Eickhoff, Author
Randy Lee Eickhoff, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8027-0964-6
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
After 16 years of single-handedly running the Times's Saigon bureau, the last thing veteran newsman Con Edwards needs is brash young cub reporter Jerry Muhl as his assistant. Not only is Jerry ignorant, arrogant and a bad reporter, he also seems to be moving in on Con's girlfriend. Then Jerry is shot and the evidence points to murder. Set around the time of the 1968 climactic Tet offensive mounted by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, this thriller does a good job of re-creating the confusion and corruption of that period. Considering the richness of the background, however, the novel is disappointingly flat. It's difficult to care about the central characters, who are mostly depressed cynics or charlatans, or both. And Eickhoff's irritating overuse of flashbacks impedes the narrative flow. (July 15)
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