An old soldier returns to West Point to find even more trouble than he'd left behind in this up-to-the-minute sequel to Dress Gray (1979). When Cadet Ry Slaight exposed the murder and cover-up of a gay classmate at West Point in 1969, he very nearly brought down the Academy and seemed to have destroyed his Army career. But time has a strange way of writing straight with crooked lines, and 30 years later Slaight finds himself back at the Point--as Superintendent. During his first few days in command, he observes jarring changes in military life--not the least of which is the presence of his daughter Jacey in the Corps of Cadets. But his idyll is short-lived: during parade exercises marking the start of the academic year, a cadet drops dead under mysterious circumstances, prompting an official inquiry and the attention of Washington and the national press. In the entire history of West Point, no one has ever died during parade exercises, and the fact that the unfortunate cadet was female is all that some minds need to confirm their suspicions that the Academy's going to hell in a handbasket. A preliminary autopsy reveals that the young woman had had sex with at least three different men the day before she died, and when evidence begins to point toward members of the powerful Honor Committee, the stonewalling begins in earnest. How can Superintendent Slaight get to the bottom of things when half his officers despise him and most of the cadets seem scared to open their mouths? Through his daughter, that's how. But this puts Jacey on the line, and soon enough Slaight worries that she'll end up as the second casualty. Throw in an untrustworthy senator, a secret society, the unhappy mistress of someone important, and a big-shot cadet tom between his love for Jacey and his loyalty to his comrades . . . . Good suspense without much originality. Military buffs will love the detail and not care about the plot. Civilians, though, may feel a bit let down.
Pub Date: July 8, 1998
Page Count: 383
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998
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