A diverse group of Vietnam vets gathered for a 1974 wedding become embroiled in murder.
Ex-Army nurse Elizabeth Pepperhawk is struggling with her relationship with Colonel Darby Baxter, who feels obligated to rescue his ex-wife from trouble in Hanoi. Elizabeth’s roommate, Avivah Rosen, is a token appointment to the Asheville (N.C.) police force relegated to community support work despite her years of MP experience. Avivah’s friend, veteran Benny Kirkpatrick, is about to marry war widow Lorraine Fulford when his mother Grace is abducted, only to reappear the next day in a state of serious mental confusion. At length she identifies her abductor as Peter Taft, a man she knew years ago in Alaska. When Taft turns up dead, Avivah gets the chance to do some real police work. Taft was a confidence man with some suspicious associates, but secrets of the past and present that bubble to the surface implicate Benny’s family as well. Years ago, Grace was raped by Taft. Her son Hamilton is Taft’s child; her son Joseph may be involved with the IRA. To make matters worse, Darby’s coldly purposeful ex-sister-in-law Sandra Waine turns up determined to cause trouble. Avivah, Pepper and their friends must solve the puzzle in time to prevent Benny’s wedding from being ruined.
The vividly drawn cast of regular characters dealing with the aftermath of their Vietnam war experiences lifts Wildwind’s fourth (Soldier on the Porch, 2007, etc.) above its routine mystery.