Book Review of The General's Daughter (Paul Brenner, Bk 1) (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)

The General's Daughter (Paul Brenner, Bk 1) (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)
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From Amazon.com

Long before the John Travolta film of The General's Daughter (which the author extols in the foreword), Nelson DeMille's seventh mystery was the breakout hit of his career. The rapid-fire dialogue and scenes are cinematic, and the storytelling puts most movies to shame.

The book has three heroes: Paul Brenner and Cynthia Sunhill of the army's Criminal Investigation Division and Capt. Ann Campbell, found dead with her underpants around her neck on the firing range at Fort Hadley, Georgia. Brenner and Sunhill are lowly warrant officers, but as investigators they can theoretically arrest their superiors--as long as their case is airtight. This ups the tension level, as does the fact that Brenner and Sunhill once had an adulterous affair.

The chief problem, though, is too many suspects. Capt. Campbell, the daughter of the general who runs the base, is literally a poster woman for the New Army, a West Point grad and Gulf War hero who posed in a life-size recruitment poster. It's pinned up on her basement wall--and when the sleuths touch the poster it swings back to reveal a hidden playroom stocked with sex toys and videos of many army guys in pig masks and the captain in high heels. She was a high-IQ "two percenter"--and Brenner finds that two percenters often wind up on his desk as homicide suspects. Why is this one a victim? It has something to do with the collected works of Nietzsche on her bookshelf, corruption in high places, and the rag and bone shop of the heart.

This is one racy read, and it crackles with authenticity. DeMille is a Vietnam veteran who does for military justice what John Grisham does for civilians. --Tim Appelo
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


From Publishers Weekly

After the wit and panache of his bestselling The Gold Coast , DeMille's latest effort may disappoint his fans. The author returns to his more customary stylish-suspense-novel mode but retains a smart-aleck narrator--here, Paul Brenner, of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. At Fort Hadley, Ga., Ann Campbell, daughter of the post commander, is found murdered under bizarre circumstances. Brenner learns that Ann's entire personal life, in fact, veered toward the bizarre; she even had a secret basement "playroom" in her home. Moral turpitude runs riot at Fort Hadley, and Brenner must wade through muck of all sorts to discover the killer's identity. Too much muck, as it turns out: the detective work becomes repetitious, and suspense is unfortunately in short supply. Brenner's one-liners have none of the punch of John Sutter's wry observations in The Gold Coast --indeed, the device of a waggish narrator doesn't fit these proceedings; the wisecracks seem grafted on. So, too, does a resumed romance between Brenner and an old flame--we don't get a good enough picture of either to care about whatever sparks might fly. Characterization in general is fuzzy, though DeMille captures the often unquestioning regimen of life on a military base. One only wishes that his tale had more spirit and dash. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.