Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keeping Watch-A Book Review

Published in 2003, this riveting novel tells the story of a Vietnam Veteran who, after nearly a decade of self destructive behavior post war, become the savvy rescuer of abused women and children.
His tour of duty is described so vividly and with such candor that those of us who personally know and love a Vietnam Veteran can finally feel some of that terror that most will not speak of.
There are horrors our hero performs as well, he is not an innocent. Yet the true warrior can not live in a civilization as ours for long without action.
He uses his skills, patrolling the perimeter, the greens of nightmare jungles revisiting even his waking moments.
He moves through the cities, adopting a camouflage of normalcy so profound no one will remember his passing. Always avoiding the novelties of color or action, few witnesses need be feared.
We meet the second main character, a boy of 12, and see how well the author, Laurie R. King, understands the love hate relationship of a victim with their abuser. Although the father does atrocious things, his son craves his approval, hating and loving his father, and then later, his rescuer.
The plot is well developed. Our minds are treated to delicious details of both war and civilization. There are strong women, smart use of technology. Totally believable and an excellent read.
Lessons in survival can be gleaned from the pages as well. The hunted is always alert, covering tracks, waiting patiently. The hunter must think like his prey, without showing his hand.
Laying a plan for action is better than jumping too soon, or assuming facts without any basis. Blending in, not standing out.
I highly recommend the novel, and will look for more of her work.

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