Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Allen Leib, Author Presidio Press $19.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-89141-337-0
Leib's ( Fire Dream ) second novel featuring Navy lieutenant William Stuart again demonstrates his ability to write superior Vietnam war fiction. Gunner's mate Douglas MacArthur Moser, believed dead, is actually a POW, held with a number of other Americans in vile conditions in a jungle camp in Laos. Through the Red Cross, Moser sends a letter to his mother in Georgia, and in it mentions the name of his hero, Lt. Stuart. Apprised of Moser's situation, Stuart commits himself to rescue his former gunner's mate; deciphering the clues in Moser's message, he ascertains the POW's general whereabouts and lobbies for permission to launch a rescue mission. In building dramatic momentum, Leib effectively juxtaposes stateside political and military machinations with the brutalities of war and captivity. It will not diminish the reader's involvement to reveal that Stuart ultimately locates Moser--for that is only half the story. Paralleling the conflict itself, this is a novel of many heroes--and many more victims. Leib, who himself served as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam, shows how the stark and tragic realities of war can be most powerfully conveyed in fiction. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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