WHITE TIGER (Police Procedural-Chicago-Cont/1970s) – VG
Dymmoch, Michael Allen – 5th in series
Thomas Dunne Books, 2005 – Hardcover
Detective John Thinnes views the body of a murder victim at the morgue, and realizes she was the Vietnamese wife of his best friend when serving as an MP during the Vietnam War. Upon meeting the late woman's son, he remembers his friends' wedding night, waking up hangover and naked and now wonders whether he could be the boy's father. Thinnes goes to his friend Dr. Jack Calab, a psychiatrist, who served in Vietnam as a medic and is in a veteran's group dealing with his own memories of that experience. When one of the group members is murdered, it links the two cases together with tales of the White Tiger, a mysterious criminal from Vietnam, now in Chicago.
I have been an admirer of Ms. Dymmoch's work from the beginning and regret more people are not aware of her. While I love her previous titles, they may have caused people to think her books are light. This book, with it succinct title, will certainly remedy that perception. For those of us with friends and/or relatives who fought, and died, in Vietnam, this is a painful but wonderfully written book. The story is told in alternating perspectives of Thinnes and Calab, as well as the present and the past, but it absolutely works. While there is a present-day case to be solved, the story is really about the experiences and impact of war on those who fight it. One of the members of Calab's group is from Desert Storm. The mystery and suspense serve almost as a backdrop, but it's absolutely a book well worth reading.