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Another suspense-filled story from DeMille
on December 23, 2012
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.