'Joe,' Jim said calmly, 'put that thing down. You're in a church, man. At-my wife's funeral. Trini's, Joe. Haven't you done--enough to her, even yet?' 'Trini?' Joe said. 'Jeeeez-zus! That sweet lil' piece o' Shady Snatch? You-you killed her! You jealous lil' ol' dried up Turd, you! I'm gonna--'"". . . . What Joe does is yank the trigger of his Beretta--and miss Jim. . . . It wasn't possible for Yerby to write a more disoriented novel than his recent Tobias and the Angel, or to render a shriek of even greater sentimentality than his last novel A Rose for Aha Maria, and going by the abysmal measurements applicable only to Yerby novels, Hail the Conquering Hero is--haltingly--a sort of return to passable--drugstore--English. Well, maybe passable; you judge this--typical--Yerby construction: ""And now she was--dying. Quite literally dying, because he--miserable little flinty-souled puritan!--could not forget a meaningless episode that had been forced upon a poor, forlorn, utterly defenseless fourteen-year-old--that's how old she had been when they had made that unspeakable obscenity of a picture!"" . . . This is a novel about torture in the Caribbean republic of Costa Verde, and Ambassador James Randolf Rush's lonely horror in fighting that country's dictator and master of torture, and of Rush's attempt to save the women who are closest to him. . . and it's--over 500 pages--of spew!-down in the goon swamps--being forced upon a poor, forlorn, utterly defenseless. . . .