A weary old soldier tries to track down his missing wife.
Medically, they’ve all but written off Charlie Cannert. He’s got cancer and six months to a year if he’s lucky. But you don’t get the medal Charlie earned in Vietnam unless you’re a breed apart. And now he’s convinced something bad has happened to Martha, his beloved wife. So, mustering his dwindling strength, Charlie checks himself out of the hospital in order to track her down. When last heard from, Martha was in Florida. She’d gone there in the hope of finding a last-days refuge, a place in the sun to help ease Charlie into dying. Charlie’s smart and resourceful, but he has little enough to go on. During his unstinting search, however, he meets good people willing to help. Finally, he’s told of a woman suffering from amnesia. She’d been beaten and raped repeatedly and then consigned to a mental institution. Could Jane Doe be Martha Cannert? Suddenly Charlie’s life is at a crossroads, and much that befalls him next will come as a surprise—except for the astute readers who get there before him.
As he has in the past, Hensley (Robak in Black, 2001, etc.) undercuts a strong beginning with inexplicable walkabouts down suspense-killing byways.