The Gulf

Charlie McDade, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $15.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-15-136446-6
McDade is trying for Significance, but an overly earnest, plodding style and melodramatic action eventually do his novel in. Marine vet David Hodges returns home from Vietnam to Witman, Tex., but rejects the hero's welcome planned by his fiancee, Kate Riley. Soon after, Peter, David's brother, returns from exile in Canada as a draft-dodger. The brothers are slowly reconciled, David and Kate revive their romance and, despite problems with Kate's loutish cop brother Pat, life in the Gulf-coast town settles down. The calm doesn't last long when a group of Vietnamese refugees arrives (including David's ex-girlfriend), planning to work as shrimp fishers. Witman's shrimp industry is already depressed and a majority of townfolk are against the refugees. There's violence, then death and finally a showdown between David and Pat Riley. The talky characters are paper-thin, the plot contrived and the reader is left uninvolved. McDade also wrote Almost Dark. January 23
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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