Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE OFFICER'S CLUB by Ralph Peters


by Ralph Peters

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2680-5
Publisher: Forge

The brutal murder of a beautiful young female lieutenant is at the center of this thriller by retired Army Lt. Col. Peters (The War After Armageddon, 2009, etc.).

It's 1980, and the U.S. Army is still reeling from the despair of Vietnam. Lt. Roy Banks, a former enlisted man, has been assigned to the training staff at Fort Huachuca near Arizona's border with Mexico. Somewhat guiltily, Banks is bedding another officer's wife, and he soon finds himself moving past sexual attraction toward something more complicated. Also serving at the desert outpost is Lt. Jessie Lamoureaux, another member of "the Officers' Club," an informal group of young Army officers who regularly invade the wilds of Mexico for drink and mild debauchery. It is the manipulative Lamoureaux, supposedly a rich daddy's girl from the Old South, who becomes the catalyst for a deeply troubling descent into mayhem that catches up Roy's friend, Lt. Jerry Purvis, Roy's movie-star handsome commanding officer and his devoted wife, and a seemingly feckless major with a surprising secret in his military jacket. Lamoureaux is a sociopath, and her weapons of choice are sex and lies, and perhaps the allure of money-by-the-bagful doled out by a hard-partying, second-generation Colombian with a ready supply of cocaine. Peters hits the bull’s-eye with his descriptions of Army life, good and bad, and his short sketches of the dedicated soldiers who serve our country are moving. While some may find Banks too sophisticated, worldly and analytical for a man not yet 30, the story moves along crisply and, with the exception of a minor narrative thread left unresolved, the thriller satisfies.

Part murder mystery, part character study, totally entertaining. Peters has created a character worthy of a sequel.