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Since I "discovered" Nelson DeMille many years ago, he's become one of my favorite authors, and I've read everything he's written. I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when he began publishing occasional Kindle Singles, which were short stories. The first one, "The Book Case," was a nice look at the young John Corey when he was still a detective with the NYPD. The second Short, "Death Benefits," gave DeMille a chance to show his whimsical side.

The third Short, "Rendezvous," is a very different kind of story. Recapturing some of the suspense and nail-biting tension of earlier novels like Up Country and Charm School, the story follows an Army Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol in Vietnam on the last days of a mission to report enemy troop movements. The mission has gone well until - suddenly - the two radio operators are killed and their radios shot up. Realizing that the ten-man patrol is under sniper fire, the lieutenant leading the patrol does everything he can to evade the sniper and get the remaining members of the patrol to their extraction point. One worrisome point - the men were in exposed positions where the hidden sniper could have killed them all, so why didn't he?

When the lieutenant finally gets a brief glimpse of the sniper, he's stunned by what he learns. As the story progresses, the lieutenant begins to understand the sniper's plan, but will this knowledge help him get his men back alive?

With imminent death all around the men, the tension built steadily to the breaking point, one of the trademarks of DeMille. Not to sound too enigmatic, but the final two paragraphs were the stuff of which nightmares are born.
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on December 21, 2012
I enjoyed reading this Kindle short. You can get through it in 2-3 hours. Mr. Demille takes us back in time to the Vietnam War, where his patrol is shot to pieces by a female sniper. He is the only survivor of the patrol. He transports you to the dangerous jungles of Vietnam near the DMV, where American soldiers rule the day and North Vietnamese soldiers rule the night. Written in the first person, you do not know from where the sniper is firing, and Demille brings out the fear and anxiety associated with the events occurring all around him.

I recommend this book to anyone who has an evening to kill and wants to curl up next to the fire with a good book in hand.
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on January 5, 2013
Since I am very familiar with DeMille's writing I was suprised to get one of his books for my new Kindle for only $1.99. I just got my Kindle for Christmas and was not familiar with the definition of Kindle (single), i.e., only a single chapter. I was not very happy when I saw "The End" after the first chapter. It was a great short story but at $1.99 per chapter that would be $30+ for a regular book. I also bought "The Bookcase" at the same time, another Kindle (single) since I love the John Corey books. Shame on me twice. I guess this lesson cost me $4.00.
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on December 23, 2012
Suspenseful all the way thru. Great quick read! Highly recommend this and any or all of Nelson DeMilles' other books.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 23, 2012
Nelson DeMille has written a very short but complete chilling novella about an infantry patrol in Vietnam that went frighteningly wrong when they were targeted, one-by-one by a very clever sniper. The sniper is so clever that not only were both radio operators the first kills, but the second shots hit the exact spot to render the radios useless so they could not call for backup.

The really chilling part of the story is that the platoon leader finds out that the sniper is a woman, who is able to kill whoever she chooses, leaving the platoon leader for last.

Nelson DeMille saw combat in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader and this comes through clearly in this short novella. DeMille is one of my favourite authors, who wrote Word of Honor which IMHO is the best novel about the Vietnam War (and is still my choice as his best novel).

Only today I read this quote about war in a newspaper - "The horror of it, the pain of it, the suffering of it. People just don't understand unless they've been through it." DeMille has been through it, has never forgotten his experience and this shows through in this short story.
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on December 29, 2012
A very good and captivating short story. Just like in other books such as Up Country DeMille paints a vivid picture of one soldier's Vietnam experience and in doing so helps you to better understand them all.
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This is a suspenseful story by a well-respected best-selling writer and is well-worth the $1.99 that amazon charges kindle users to read it. DeMille captures our attention on page one when he tells us that the woman the lieutenant-narrator met was more dangerous than any man. The lieutenant led a ten man squad in Vietnam on a recon expedition more than a week away from their pickup point when his men began to be shot and killed by single shots by a sniper who he soon finds out is a woman. The woman is smart and an expert shot. Her first volley kills the two radio men in the recon unit and demolishes their two radios so that they can’t communicate to get help. The remaining eight men are unable to locate where she is. Soon more men are shot. Then the lieutenant sees that she is able to shoot him but doesn’t do it. Why doesn’t she kill him? Why does she take her time killing his men? She could have killed everyone at one time. Is she playing with them? Why is she doing what she is doing? Will he ever find why? Will any of the original ten get back home?
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The premise of the story was interesting enough, however, many of the events during this LRRP patrol would never have taken place. For instance, LRRP troops communicate with hand signals and members would never ask for a roll call (twice) or call out to other team members during a patrol, especially when surrounded by the enemy in Laos. Ten team members also seems extreme during a LRRP outing - they usually travel with five members. I'm thinking that Mr. DeMille called upon his past experience as an officer of an infantry unit when he was in Vietnam - when the actions described would have sufficed.

The characters in this short story were only names without any back story to any of them, so when killed, it's only another name removed from the list of team members and no emotions.. It also ends abruptly, I expected it to continue for a bit to let readers know how successful the body recovery mission was.

f you have a spare hour, then Rendezvous is still worth reading...readers can follow the ten member LRRP team through the jungles of Laos and see how they fare against a very good female sniper, who just wants to have fun.

John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
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on January 8, 2014
I am a huge fan of Nelson Demille and have read all of his work with pleasure and relish, but I am sorely disappointed that he would violate my trust and loyalty by selling as a book what is essentially a very, very short story and not a very well written short story at that! I would not recommend anyone buying this dull, and for Demille, most sub-standard submission.
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on December 28, 2012
Read it in about an hour. Used to love the early DeMille books but his later books lost me. Maybe I will give him another try. The characters are well drawn and he keeps the tension high.

The short story format is great when you want to kill a little time and don't feel like committing to a novel. I think in the digital era/attention crash age the short form will make a comeback.

This was my first Amazon Prime borrow.
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