Mortal Allies [NOOK Book]

Overview

JAG lawyer Sean Drummond has gotten himself in way over his head -- with a case that challenges his deepest fears and a co-counselor who challenges just about everything else. Assigned to South Korea as an advocate for a gay officer accused of brutally killing the son of a South Korean war hero, Drummond is teamed up with an old law-school nemesis. Katherine Carson is a curvy, liberal, William Kunstler-like attorney with a reputation for manipulating the media on behalf of her mostly gay clients. Drummond is as ...
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Mortal Allies

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Overview

JAG lawyer Sean Drummond has gotten himself in way over his head -- with a case that challenges his deepest fears and a co-counselor who challenges just about everything else. Assigned to South Korea as an advocate for a gay officer accused of brutally killing the son of a South Korean war hero, Drummond is teamed up with an old law-school nemesis. Katherine Carson is a curvy, liberal, William Kunstler-like attorney with a reputation for manipulating the media on behalf of her mostly gay clients. Drummond is as distraught to be working with a woman who knows how to push all his buttons as he is to be defending this client. However, it's just this lack of political correctness that makes him the one man the CIA can trust with its disturbing secrets, and Drummond quickly learns that what appears to be an open-and-shut case is really just the top layer of a deep conspiracy.
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Editorial Reviews

Orlando Sentinel
...an exciting, entertaining and original, which never flags or resorts to the clichés...
Washington Post Book World
...highly readable...a conspiracy of staggering proportions...Haig keeps things moving along...
Publishers Weekly
A relentless fusillade of surprise and humor drives this unusually jocular military/legal thriller set in Seoul. When the soldier son of South Korea's defense minister is raped and murdered by an American soldier, career military Judge Advocate General Maj. Sean Drummond is yanked from a Bermuda beach to serve as co-counsel at the request of brilliant civilian defense attorney and gay/lesbian legal activist Katherine Carlson. Bitter rivals in law school and complete political opposites, these two bash heads on a case that is anathema to army brass, sparks Korean riots, ignites gay activist and right-wing religious groups, sets off a media frenzy and fuels a push to get U.S. troops out of South Korea. JAG officers are unloved at best, but Drummond is despised and sabotaged on all sides as Carlson plays puppet master by fueling his ego and baiting the brass. Facing the army equivalent of a hanging judge, corrupt Korean police and devious CIA actions, Drummond fears for his client's future and his own. Haig's hero (back in action after his turn in Secret Sanction) cracks wise with refreshingly derogatory humor, skewering diplomats, bleeding hearts, religious nuts, military homophobes and gay activists alike while skillfully untangling the issue of gays in the military. Korean culture and the country's North/South divide play an important role in the novel's denouement, as Haig successfully kindles his powder keg of a plot. Agent, Luke Janklow. (May) Forecast: This is the second novel in a projected series featuring Drummond. The first, Secret Sanction, has been optioned by Intermedia Films with Nicholas Cage to star as Drummond. If the film comes off, Haig (son of former secretary of state Alexander Haig), could reap substantial sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Haig's first novel, Secret Sanction, was a riveting story of war crimes in the Balkans. In his new book, a horrible crime has occurred in South Korea. A U.S. Army officer is accused of the rape and murder of the son of a South Korean statesman, and Maj. Sean Drummond has the unenviable task of defending him. Worse for Drummond, his co-counsel is civilian lawyer Katherine Carlson. The two have despised each other since law school. Carlson is brilliant but lost in a court-martial environment, while the irreverent Drummond is an excellent lawyer but far from a traditional military officer, offending many with techniques that appear outrageous at least to the military. Still, he has a background in Special Forces and can be lethal when pushed. Mortal Allies features corruption, spies, assassinations, riots, and numerous intriguing complications, including gay pride issues and the threat of invasion from North Korea. Intelligent, exciting, and entertaining, this is an excellent second work by the son of former secretary of state Alexander Haig. For all public libraries. Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759527683
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/2/2002
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 52,157
  • File size: 546 KB

Meet the Author

BRIAN HAIG is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels featuring JAG attorney Sean Drummond. A former special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he has also been published in journals ranging from the New York Times to USA Today to Details. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children. For more information on the author you can visit his website at www.brianhaig.com.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

CHAPTER 1

There are two things about Korea you never forget.

The first is the roiling mishmash of stinks.That May, there was the bitter stench of tear gas, an essence of spring and fall, since Korean students are what you might term fair-weather protesters. There was the ripened aroma of kimchi, a spiced and aged cabbage that makes your nostrils think your upper lip's plagued with gangrene. On top of that was the acrid odor of garlic, the lifeblood of every Korean. Finally, there were all the smells of careless progress: smog, construction, and human sweat.

The second thing you never forget is exactly how miserably steamy a Korean late spring day can be. My shirt was pasted to my back before I got halfway across the tarmac to the flight building of Osan Air Base.

I dashed straight through the entry and shoved aside a sputtering Army captain who was rooted like a potted plant waiting to meet and greet me.

"Major Drummond, I, ooof-"was all he could manage before he crashed up against the wall. Then I heard him skittering along behind me.

I moved my stiff legs as fast as I could, till I spied the door I so desperately sought. I lunged through hard enough to blow it off the hinges; the captain scurried right behind me. At the urinal I got my zipper down not a moment too soon. Another millisecond and the jig would've been up.

My escort propped himself against the sink and studied me with an awed expression."Jeez, you should see your face." "You got no idea." "Long flight, huh?"

I put my left hand against the wall. "Long ain't the half of it. Know whose neck I'd like to wring? The miserable bastard who broke the only toilet in the C-141. I've had my legs crossed since the Alaskan border."

"Well, you're finally here," he consoled, grinning like a fool. "I guess I am."

A full, awkward thirty seconds passed before he nervously tapped his leg."My name's Chuck Wilson. I, uh, I've been told to pick you up and escort you to Seoul."

"Hey, that's great, Chuck.Why?" "Huh?" "Why are you taking me to Seoul? Why am I in Korea in the first place?"

An exquisitely befuddled look popped onto his face."I got no idea, sir. Why are you here?"

The stream of urine flooding out of my body had not abated one bit. I got worried. Has anybody ever pissed himself to death? I didn't ask him that, though. I said,"If I knew that,why the hell would I be asking you?"

He glanced down at his watch and said,"You okay, Major? It's been over a minute."

"No, I'm not okay," I complained."My hand's tired. This damn thing's so big and heavy. Can you come over here and hold it for me?"

We both chuckled a little too emphatically, like real men do whenever any topic arises even remotely touching on homosexuality. "Sheeit," he drawled in a deep, manly way,"some things a man's gotta do hisself."

"Damn right," I firmly pronounced. The stream of urine flooding out of my body had not abated one bit. I got worried. Has anybody ever pissed himself to death? I didn't ask him that, though. I said,"If I knew that,why the hell would I be asking you?"

He glanced down at his watch and said,"You okay, Major? It's been over a minute."

"No, I'm not okay," I complained."My hand's tired. This damn thing's so big and heavy. Can you come over here and hold it for me?"

We both chuckled a little too emphatically, like real men do whenever any topic arises even remotely touching on homosexuality. "Sheeit," he drawled in a deep, manly way,"some things a man's gotta do hisself."

He averted his eyes while I gave Ol' Humungo a manly shake, reholstered,and got my zipper back up."Okay,"I said,moving to the sinks and splashing some water on my hands and face,"let's find my bags and get outta here."

"Forget the bags," he said."My driver's getting 'em."

We went out, and a husky young corporal named Vasquez was standing proudly beside a spanking-new black Kia sedan with lots of gleaming chrome.I made him open the trunk so I could peek in, and sure enough there sat my duffel bag and oversize lawyer's briefcase.Then Wilson and I climbed into the backseat.

"Well, ain't this the plush life," I remarked, running an admiring hand across the leather upholstery. "I figured you'd get me in a nasty old humvee."

"Not unless I got an armed escort." "Armed escort?"

He gave me a curious look."Haven't you been reading the papers?" I said, "Hey, Chuck, see these shorts and this ratty T-shirt I'm wearing?" "Yes sir."

"This is what's called formal attire in Bermuda. See, that's where I was until, uh, oh"-I looked at my watch-"until about twenty-eight hours ago.Know what's so great about Bermuda? No? Let me tell you: No newspapers. No TVs. No cares in the world but which beach has the skimpiest bikinis and which bar's having a two-for-one special at happy hour."

He nodded right along."Yeah, well, things aren't so blasé over here. We're drowning in anti-American riots. It's gotten so bad we're restricted to our bases. No civilian cars with U.S. plates and no unescorted military vehicles are allowed outside the gates."

"That why we're in this Kia?"

"It's less noticeable.And it took a two-star general to sign off on letting me come get you. I asked for a helicopter, but, no offense intended, they said you just weren't that damned important."

"A helicopter?"I asked,beginning to think this captain was a little over the edge.This was South Korea.These people were our allies, not our enemies.

Sounding not the least bit contrite, he said,"I know it sounds crazy,but,hey,the American embassy got firebombed two days ago. The ambassador actually got beat up. Bad, too. He had to be medevaced to Hawaii."

With the worldly resignation of one who has spent some time in Korea, I said,"Look, anti-American riots are a popular local sport. You must be new. Trust me, Chuck, you'll get used to it."

Three seconds later, I ate my words.

We'd just crested a long, steep hill, and the back gate of the air base loomed only twenty yards ahead.The roof of our car suddenly sounded like it was exploding.The sound came from a shower of rocks that struck like pistol shots. I looked through the front windshield and saw three Molotov cocktails come sailing, end over end, through the air.Two exploded on the tarmac directly ahead.The third grazed off the trunk of our car and erupted right behind us. Two dozen military policemen were careening through the gate, flailing hopelessly with their nightsticks, shoving backward, and being chased by a huge mob of Koreans.

I'm no expert on riots, but I've seen a few. I once watched a bunch of Somali provocateurs trying to get a rise out of some American peacekeepers.That was a taunting kind of riot, not really meant to harm the peacekeepers; in fact intended to achieve the opposite: to get the peacekeepers so riled up they'd do something harmful to the crowd and end up looking like bad guys.The idea was to provoke an atrocity.

And as someone who lived through the Vietnam era, I witnessed my share of antiwar riots.Those "riots"were actually more like big frat parties with lots of kids showing up for the free dope and to get laid.Those kinds of riots, everybody walks on eggshells, and they do it in a real fretful way, because both sides are praying the other doesn't do anything stupid. Atrocities are the last thing anybody wants.

The mob bearing down on us looked to be the third kind of riot: the bad kind of riot. The folks in this crowd had menace in their eyes and mayhem on their minds. Their faces were snarled with anger and hatred, and a lot of them were carrying bats, or Molotov cocktails, or throwing big stones. By the guardshack, two MPs were down, and several Koreans were gathered around kicking and beating them like they were snare drums. Corporal Vasquez, the driver,jammed down hard on the brakes. He rubbernecked around to face us."Hey, Captain,what do ya want me to do?"

Wilson craned forward and peered through the windshield.He rubbed his jaw thoughtfully and studied the situation, and looked more thoughtful. His prolonged thoughtfulness made me nervous.

"Gun it!" I yelled. "Huh?"Vasquez asked. "Go!" I yelled.

Vasquez turned out to be my favorite kind of soldier: the hairtrigger obedient type. He spun back around,downshifted into neutral, jammed the gas pedal to the floor, then shifted into gear.The car nearly leaped off the ground. The tires screamed as they got traction,and Vasquez wisely shoved down hard on the horn,adding to the racket. All of a sudden the mob focused on the big, noisy black sedan bearing down on them.That look of the maddened crowd evaporated. I guess they realized there's a fundamental difference between chasing a group of outnumbered, scared MPs and eating the front bumper of a speeding car.

Rioters dove all over the place.We raced through the narrow gate, then Vasquez took a hard right turn, with more squealing tires, and drove madly through a bunch of skinny twisted streets with tightly packed shops on both sides. It took about three minutes before we cleared the village of Osan and made it to a country road that led to the Seoul-Pusan highway.

Captain Wilson's fingers had a death grip on the back of Vasquez's seat. His face was chalky white. "You shouldn't have done that," he moaned."That was a real bad idea." "How come?" I asked. He shook his head and gave me an exasperated look."'Cause we're gonna get an official complaint. No doubt about it. You coulda hurt some of those people."

"Hey Chucky,you got things backward.They wanted to hurt us. Besides, Osan Air Base is military territory.We have an agreement with the South Koreans.Those people were trespassers. If we'd hit one, it would've been perfectly legal.Trust me."

He gave me a dubious look."What makes you so damn sure of yourself?"

"I ought to be," I told him."I'm a lawyer." "A lawyer?" he asked, like he'd just discovered a big gob of smelly dog doo on the sole of his shoe. "Yeah, you know. A JAG officer. One of those guys with a license to practice law."

His face got this very pained expression. "You mean... you mean, I went through this shit to get a JAG officer?"

With the tension and all, he just blurted that out. I didn't take offense, though. See, in the Army, JAG officers aren't real high on anybody's be-sure-to-invite-to-the-party lists.

We're regarded as geeky, bookish, wimpy types without a lot of redeeming virtues. Lawyers aren't all that popular in the civilian world, either, but at least they inspire envy with the money they earn.

Military lawyers, nobody envies us.We shave our heads and dress somewhat funny, and our pay's only a hairsbreadth away from minimum wage.

I leaned back into my seat and crossed my recently tanned legs. "So what's got the natives up in arms this time?" Wilson let loose his grip on Vasquez's seat and drifted back also."What happened was that three American soldiers raped and murdered a South Korean."

"That's too bad,"I said in a casually offhanded way."Regrettable, I'm sure, but that kind of thing's happened over here plenty of times.Anything special about this one?"

"I'd say." "What?" "It was a fag rape." I nodded, but "Umm-hmm"was all I said.

"That's not the least of it, either.The kid they raped and murdered was a Katusa."

I nodded and umm-hmm'd some more. Katusas are South Korean soldiers assigned to American units.The term actually stands for "Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army"-more proof that the military can convolute anything into an acronym. Katusas are almost all highly educated college graduates who speak English if not fluently, at least with some degree of proficiency. Most Korean kids consider Katusa duty to be the most agreeable way to perform mandatory military service.

With good reason, too, because the Korean Army is a brownshoe affair, much like the American Army back in the thirties, where a common soldier's lot is fairly spartan. The pay stinks, the barracks are rustic and unheated, the food's just enough to keep you from starving, and Korean sergeants believe fervently that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Hazing and beatings are fairly common.

The American military, on the other hand, is inarguably the world's most spoiled and pampered. Barracks are like college dorms, food's.... well, at least ample, and if a sergeant so much as raises an open hand in the direction of a private, he's going to need a good defense counsel, like me.

Naturally,any Korean kid with an iota of sense wants to be a Katusa. And just as naturally, any Korean kid with rich or powerful parents usually gets his way.

I looked at Chuck."I can see where that would be ugly." "You don't know the half of it," he replied, sighing very visibly. "The Katusa's name was Lee No Tae. Of course, since nearly everybody who lives here's named Lee or Kim, I don't expect you to see the significance of that. His father is Lee Jung Kim. Ever heard of him?"

"Nope."

"He's the defense minister of the South Korean armed forces." I felt a sudden wrenching in my gut. I mean, here I am, a JAG officer, and I get this panicky call from the Judge Advocate General, the two-star general in charge of the entire Army's JAG Corps, ordering me to terminate my vacation and haul my butt up to Andrews Air Force Base to catch the next military flight to South Korea.Worse, he wouldn't say why. He just said I'd find out when I got there.

It was my turn to squeeze the back of the seat in front of me. "Has this got anything to do with why I've been brought over here?"

It was a rhetorical question, of course. "No sir," he said, sounding completely resolute."Not a thing." "Yeah? How do you know?"

"'Cause, according to the papers, the Organization for Gay Military Members-some group back in the States-hired a bunch of civilian attorneys to come over here and represent the accused." A relieved sigh escaped from my lungs. I don't mean to sound squeamish, but in my eight years as an Army lawyer, I'd managed to never once be involved with a court case related to homosexuality. There aren't a lot of experienced military lawyers who can say that. I could, though. I was damned glad of it, too.

The thing about flying twelve hours with my bladder pumped full of coffee and that six-pack of Molson I now sorely regretted having smuggled aboard was that I couldn't sleep for fear I'd awaken with a big wet spot in my lap. I smelled foul and was wrung out, so I told Captain Wilson to wake me up when we got to Seoul.

Copyright © 2002 by Brian Haig

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Not my best read

    Spent to much time briefing the same subject. Read like it was trying to stretch the subject in order to make it long enough to make a book out of it. I blame this on his editors and reviewers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Another great military-legal thriller

    Brian Haig has the ability to create great characters even from a first person perspective. Major Drummond is a sarcastic, bold, brash JAG officer that always does the right thing despite his deficiencies. Best of all Haig's writing is politically incorrect and I love it.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong military legal thriller

    Three American soldiers apparently raped and killed a Korean soldier Le No Tae, the son of the South Korean Armed Forces Defense minister. The tumultuous situation is filled with riots and protests especially surrounding the ninety five American camps in the country. The Organization for Gay Military Members has hired civilian lawyers to defend the three soldiers. Still wearing his shorts from his aborted Bermuda vacation, Major Sean Drummond learns that his former law student enemy Katherine Carlson is co-counsel, or more descriptive lead council, as she reads the riot act to the Commander in Charge and Drummond. <P>Drummond as the token military on the defense team feels like the outsider arguing principals and law every step the way. As Carlson bashes diplomats and the military, the press finds her a delight while Drummond finds her dangerously seductive even as he feels his first homosexual case has tanked his career. Just when it seems nothing could get worse, Drummond realizes he must learn why Carlson selected him before he gets drummed out of the service. <P>MORTAL ALLIES is an action-packed thriller that uses humor to accentuate an exhilarating story line. As he did in his debut appearance, SECRET SANCTION, Drummond employs amusing self-deprecation as a protective device since no one in the military befriends a JAG officer. Carlson is a fantastic counterpoint to Drummond and hopefully returns to antagonize and entice the hero. The twisting plot provides an insightful look at the Korean Peninsula situation. Readers will tell those who ask that Brian Haig is the secretary of state when it comes to strong military legal thrillers. <P>Harriet Klausner

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