Books by Leonard B. Scott

FORGED IN HONOR by Leonard B. Scott
Released: June 1, 1995

Action veteran Scott (The Iron Men, 1993, etc.) makes effective use of Burma as the key setting for an unlikely but lively narcothriller. When four US nationals (including the DEA's station head) are gunned down and the American embassy firebombed in Rangoon, the White House calls Joshua Hawkins back to duty. A retired Special Forces colonel, ``Hawk'' came of age in the Burmese hinterland during the early 1960's. While his missionary parents sought converts for Christianity, young Hawk trained as a Shan horseman with lifelong friend Stephen Kang, son of a legendary warlord known as the Chindit (lion). The lads went their separate ways—Stephen (despite his Chinese heritage) into his impoverished country's civil service, Hawk into the US Army—but kept in touch. More than 30 years on, in the aftermath of the murders, Washington recruits Hawk for a covert reconnaissance operation. The ex-Green Beret and his team uncover a devilish conspiracy to underwrite the overthrow of the Burmese government with money that Hong Kong's ruthless triads have advanced the military on condition they'll be supplied with enough refined heroin to take over America's urban drug markets. Stephen, now Burma's deputy finance minister, has been coerced into ensuring that the dope makes it through US Customs and into designated distribution channels. He eventually eludes his captors and finds refuge with Hawk, who's living on a houseboat moored in the Potomac. Several gun battles later, the blood brothers return to Rangoon in time to foil what was supposed to be a bloodless coup before the very eyes of media reps from the world's major capitals. An improbable adventure with above-average entertainment values—thanks to savvy background on an exotic locale, nonstop violence yielding an unusually high body count, and human-scale characters. Read full book review >
THE IRON MEN by Leonard B. Scott
Released: April 1, 1993

A washed-up American officer joins a gang of grizzled German WW II veterans seeking vengeance against the SS captain who murdered their comrades and then rose to the top of the East German secret police. Scott has taken on the Vietnam War (The Expendables, 1991, etc.) and now heats up the last days of the cold war. Battered and bruised by a scandalous divorce, his military career washed down the tubes with booze, Lt. Col. Jake Tallon gets his last assignment—a desk job in Berlin, where his superiors hope he will fade away. But Tallon doesn't fade. Sucking in his breath and limiting himself to light beers, Jake analyzes the military readiness of his new office, finds it wanting, kicks backsides, and takes names. He also meets pretty, half-German Kristina Hastings, his local State Department oppo, and becomes involved with her and her widowed dad, Axel Mader. Herr Mader, a wealthy contractor, still entertains hopes of finding Horst Volker, the Nazi officer who, in the last days of the Third Reich, executed Mader's exhausted paratroopers for their failure to hold off the advancing Russians. Volker went straight from the SS to the Stasi, the new East German secret service that he rose to control. But the East German government has begun to be shaken by the general collapse of communism, and Volker's invulnerability is no longer certain. When Jake and Axel at last go to battle with Volker, they are joined by Jake's resourceful former sergeant and two of the German officers who swore with Axel to bring Volker to justice. The toughest of the bunch is Jorn Furman, the man whose legs Volker shot off and whose life in the workers' paradise has been made hell by Volker's Stasi. Plucky old soldiers fight a good fight—in an improbable but rousing adventure. Read full book review >
THE EXPENDABLES by Leonard B. Scott
Released: July 1, 1991

Scott's fourth Vietnam novel (The Hill, 1989, etc.) is reminiscent of an old John Wayne movie, with Barry Sadler's ``Ballad of the Green Berets'' for background. We begin in 1953, seeing the young man who will become the Grizzled Old Sergeant get his first taste of action in Korea. Then we see the early years of the men whose fates will be determined in combat. There are, among others, the Unhappy Rich Kid, out to prove himself; the Angry Black Guy who hates ``the Man''; the Tough Italian Stud from the big city; the Simple Southern Hillbilly whose innate goodness belies his ``white trash'' background; and an Even More Grizzled Old Sergeant—all of whom are thrown into the mix, a mix in which the noncoms are toughened warriors with hearts of gold beneath their gruff exteriors; the officers come in two flavors (naive—West Point; good guys—ex-college jocks); and just about everyone else functions as a Plot Element. The most interesting parts here are the often humorous takes on basic training and Scott's description of some of the final conflict—the classic 35-day battle of the Ia Drang in which 304 Americans died—from the Vietcong viewpoint. But finding out which members of Our Gang survive for the truly maudlin conclusion is about the only motivation that will keep some readers going to the end. Read full book review >

An especially violent blood-and-guts Vietnam adventure—strong on combat, extremely weak on plot and characterization—from the author of Charlie Mike (1987) and The Last Run (1985). In 1965, a couple of half-brothers grow up together in the little town of Meyers, Oklahoma. There's Jason Johnson, football star, favored by his father and coaches—and then there's the bad seed: Ty Nance, who rubs all authority figures (stepfather, coach, sheriff) the wrong way. Naturally, when both Jason and Ty end up in Vietnam, Jason is a lieutenant, while Ty is merely a grunt—and the point man on a Ranger platoon to boot. Both see plenty of action during the hideous six-month-long battle of Dak To, in 1967. In particular, Scott's novel graphically—almost lingeringly—describes Jason being caught up in the carnage ensuing from the American attempt to capture Hill 875 from North Vietnam regulars. Eventually, Jason's company is overrun and slaughtered—but he survives to be saved by Ty. What storyline there is here—Ty's alienation, Jason's break-up with his girlfriend, the two brothers' discovery of each other—is strictly for the funny papers. But the realistically depicted combat scenes should appeal to Vietnam War buffs. Read full book review >