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- Hardback | 352 pages
- 19 Jul 1990
- United Kingdom
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From the author of Dress Gray (1978), the story' of a young, third-generation Army officer who is falsely charged with desertion in the face of the enemy in Vietnam. His father and grandfather have to take on both the Army and the CIA to save him from execution. General Matthew Nelson Blue, Jr., pulled himself up from dust-bowl poverty - thanks to the Army's meritocracy, the opportunities of WW II, and a considerable skill for polo. Col. Matthew Nelson Blue II! served ably in Korea, but his inflexible honesty seems to have stopped his rise to flag rank. Now, Lt. Matthew Nelson Blue IV's tour on the front lines in Vietnam has gone horribly sour. On a dangerous night patrol over the border in Laos, Lt. Blue stumbled onto a gang of Americans armed with Russian rifles. The Americans, outnumbering Blue's patrol, were loading unmarked bales onto a DC-3 at the end of a grass landing strip; and when Blue's men stepped in, the plane crew fired, killing one of the troops, and flew off. Lt. Blue's commanding officer rejects Blue's report of the incident and orders him to change it; and when Blue refuses, he is sent into a nearly fatal trap by his superior. It is Blue's evasion of the trap that brings the charge of desertion. The effort to clear the lieutenant's name forces his father and grandfather to end their years-old estrangement and work together. The battle scenes here are a little more fully drawn than those in Dress Gray; but the handling of the courtroom scenes and the story behind the charges stray occasionally - and disappointingly - into melodrama. (Kirkus Reviews)