Court Martial

Court Martial

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Product details

  • Hardback | 423 pages
  • 156 x 228 x 46mm | 780.17g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0245508309
  • 9780245508301

Review Text

Following somewhat gingerly a recent news story concerning the death of a Vietnamese "double-triple agent" in Vietnam, this long plodding novel draws the whole matter to a semi-public trial and foregone conclusions. When double agent Troc, a Vietnamese, is identified as such, questioned while under truth serum and later killed, apparently by members of the Special Forces, inter-service antagonisms surface like homing subs. But for the men placed on trial, the issues assume an acutely personal and immediate cast. The clinching argument focused by defense counsel McEwan seems to be that for all branches of the service, including the tilde-bound regular army, an unusually savage enemy using unconventional warfare requires an appropriate response. Or, as expressed (to loud applause) by a Special Forces Commander: "Unlike us the Communist enemy feeds upon and enjoys brutality, torture, assassination of hostages, killing for its own sake." Meanwhile, out in the streets a trial-inspired demonstration takes place in which an organized band of sturdy anti-Communists happily clubs the daylights out of "wild-eyed" protesters, to almost everyone's deep satisfaction. The detail from White House to courtroom is painstaking and grimly convincing but the conclusions are not for everyone. (Kirkus Reviews)show more