Ghosts of Saigon

Ghosts of Saigon

by John Maddox Roberts
     
 

Private detective Gabe Treloar would never have gone to a reunion of his Vietnam unit if there hadn't been a note of incongruous urgency in Mitchell Queen's invitation. He learns why when Queen, now a successful movie producer, tells him that a particular nemesis of theirs has surfaced after disappearing twenty years ago: Martin Starr. Starr was a criminal then; he is… See more details below

Overview

Private detective Gabe Treloar would never have gone to a reunion of his Vietnam unit if there hadn't been a note of incongruous urgency in Mitchell Queen's invitation. He learns why when Queen, now a successful movie producer, tells him that a particular nemesis of theirs has surfaced after disappearing twenty years ago: Martin Starr. Starr was a criminal then; he is still. He has turned up in California and is threatening the actors in Queen's current production, a story set in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. Queen is desperate to get Starr out of his life, and so he turns to Gabe for help. Teaming up uncomfortably with the enigmatic private eye Connie Armijo, Gabe follows Starr's trail to 'Nam and to a dramatic climax in the California hills.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Private eye Gabe Treloar's second caper is even more complicated and dangerous than his first (A Typical American Town, 1994). Talk about ghosts: He's off booze, his wife Rose is dead (he met and married the young Vietnamese woman during his tour of duty), and he's an ex-LAPD cop with no desire to return to Los Angeles. But Vietnam buddy Mitch Queen invites him to a vet reunion, then hires him to find out why Martin Starr is threatening to kill anyone who stars in Queen's new movies, to be made on location in Saigon. Back in that city in 1968, Gabe and Mitch were escorting Martin Starr, one of the so-called "ghosts" of the criminal underworld, off to prison. Starr, however, escaped during the Tet Offensive. The assignment now inevitably takes Gabe back to L.A., where he meets the film's star, Selene Gibson (think Ava Gardner), and p.i. Connie Armijo, who's been hired to protect Selene. When one of Gabe's Vietnamese relatives is murdered, he and Connie investigate a possible L.A. connection. But Gabe—and the reader—knows it all goes back to Saigon and those ghosts that won't die. He and Connie return there, only to discover that they both have their own Vietnam ghosts.

The Saigon sequences, both past and the present, are the most effective here, mainly because Roberts emphasizes character over plot. That's also why the obligatory romance works so well. An offbeat, haunting tale with some thrilling movie-like action.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312143459
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/01/1996
Series:
Gabe Treloar Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.87(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.99(d)

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