May 11, 12
Recommended to Ed by:
hard-boiled fans of revenge novels
Read from May 09 to 11, 2012
Robert Colby was from the Gold Medal Books stable of writers who didn't rack up the impressive sales of his colleagues like Gil Brewer, Charles Williams, and Peter Rabe. Still, Colby had a remarkable career and was a very fine writer. This hardboiled revenge yarn (1959) held my attention all the way until the somewhat surprising ending.
Basically, a captain caught three WW II vets trying to desert, and had them arrested and court martialed. Twelve years later, the three vets are freed from prison and go after the captain and his wife. To complicate matters, one of the vets also had an affair with the wife.
Colby devotes a lot of prose giving us his characters' thoughts as well as liberal amounts of dialogue. The combination works, for the most part. I liked the novel's WW II themes, Army attitudes, and settings. One of the three vets, Brick, is wickedly portrayed. THE CAPTAIN MUST DIE gave me two evenings of entertaining reading.