Army Blue

Lucian K. Truscott, IV, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (436p) ISBN 978-0-517-57384-6
In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to his first novel, Dress Gray , Truscott turns his attention to the Vietnam War and delivers a suspenseful, sprawling court-martial drama, set in Saigon in 1969. At 23, platoon leader Lt. Matthew Nelson Blue is the youngest member of an Army family: his father is a colonel and his grandfather a profane, cantankerous retired general. Shortly after one of his men is killed by friendly fire while on routine patrol, Blue is arrested and charged with desertion in the face of the enemy. Arriving in Vietnam, his father and grandfather end their long estrangement and join forces to clear the young soldier's name. Truscott's plot offers less than initially meets the eye; the nature of the conspiracy and cover-up that nearly destroy Blue is fairly easy to predict, as is the disillusionment about Vietnam that eventually befalls his seniors. (``Nobody is going to win this war,'' says one, just pages before the end.) But the author's intimate portrayal of the texture of Army life gives his narrative a more deeply felt sense of anger and regret than others in its genre, and makes its final revelations more powerful than they might otherwise have been. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-35980-1
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