cover image Bringing Back the Dead

Bringing Back the Dead

Joe Domenici, . . St. Martin's/Dunne, $24.95 (229pp) ISBN 978-0-312-38046-5

Rambo fans may enjoy Domenici's debut, a workmanlike thriller about a stateside rescue and recovery mission. More than three decades after Capt. Fred Custer was paralyzed by a bullet in Vietnam in 1973, he recruits Ted Hickman, once a sergeant in Custer's Special Forces unit, to find Larry Yoder, a third member of the unit who's disappeared. After Vietnam, Yoder became a minister and revived a failing Southern Baptist church in Belle Glade, Fla., which had been run for years as a private fiefdom by the powerful and corrupt Cole family, who oppose Yoder's efforts to help the poor migrant workers in the local sugarcane fields. When Hickman suffers a concussion and a serious stab wound in the course of his quest, he retreats until Custer can mobilize more of the old crew to launch a full-scale assault on the Coles, who may have had a hand in Yoder's disappearance. Readers should be prepared for stock action sequences and martial sentiments (“As such men are apt to do, they talked of battles won and lost”). (Sept.)