Chuck's Reviews > Word of Honor

Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille
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May 04, 2009

it was amazing

This is my all time favorite Nelson DeMille book, which is saying a lot because a) I really like DeMille and b) I am a huge fan of a numbeirr of his books. So saying this is my fave of his is high praise indeed.

Written and set in the mid 80s, the book follows uthe fortunes of Ben Tyson, a successful executive in the aerospace industry who is married, has a nearly grown son, and has put the Vietnam War behind him. However, a book has appeared that allages that the platoon he commanded in Hue in 1968 is responsible for a brutal atrocity--the killing of over 100 civilians.

As the only officer accused of being present at the killings, he is the only member of the platoon who can be brought back on active duty (the Army can't lay a hand on a discharged enlisted man). And so much time has passed that the only crime Ben can be charged with is capital murder, the only crime for which there is no statute of limitations. And Ben is the only person mentioned by name in the book, even though he is not accused of directly participating in the killing himself. But miltary officers are legally responsible for the actions of their men, so, if there was murder, he is legally responsible in the eyes of military justice.

A number of mysteries unfold. What happened in Hue? Who is out to get Ben? What has happened to the eyewitnesses? Does the government want them found.

As the story unfolds, two things become clear. One, regardless of the outcome of the trial, Ben's life will never be the same again. And two, it becomes clear that Ben is not trying to avoid trouble or shirk any resposibility--he has kept his word of honor, and will continue to do so, though the cost be high.

Great book. I've read it twice and have reread the last several chapters more often than that.
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