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23 December 2012

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A Vietnam nightmare continues
Nelson DeMille has written a very short but complete chilling novella about an infantry patrol in Vietnam that went frighteningly wrong when they were targeted, one-by-one by a very clever sniper. The sniper is so clever that not only were both radio operators the first kills, but the second shots hit the exact spot to render the radios useless so they could not call for backup.

The really chilling part of the story is that the platoon leader finds out that the sniper is a woman, who is able to kill whoever she chooses, leaving the platoon leader for last.

Nelson DeMille saw combat in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader and this comes through clearly in this short novella. DeMille is one of my favourite authors, who wrote "Word of Honor" which IMHO is the best novel about the Vietnam War (and is still my choice as his best novel).

Only today I read this quote about war in a newspaper - "The horror of it, the pain of it, the suffering of it. People just don't understand unless they've been through it." DeMille has been through it, has never forgotten his experience and this shows through in this short story.

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