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The Officers' Club Hardcover – January 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The murder of 1st Lt. Jessica Lamoureux at Arizona's Fort Huachuca kick-starts Peters's excellent mystery thriller set in the post-Vietnam era. Roy Banks, a 28-year-old army second lieutenant, is finishing a course in military intelligence by designing a war game exercise, but the real games are those played by his fellow officers who are members of what they jokingly refer to as "the Officers' Club," a hard-drinking, promiscuous group who spend their free time in various bars and bedrooms. Late one night, a skinny-dipping Lamoureux tries to seduce Banks, who's sleeping with a married female second lieutenant. Much to his own surprise, Banks fends her off, which proves to be one of the few astute choices he makes in a novel filled with men and women making all the wrong decisions. Peters (The War After Armageddon) shows he can explore the conundrums of love and the battlefield of the human heart as successfully as he navigates international military strategy and tactics. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Peters mixes a time and place rich with storytelling potential, vividly drawn and multidimensional characters, murder, sex, deception, and rival drug gangs into a superior crime novel. The time is 1981, the place remote Fort Huachuca, along the Arizona-Mexico border, where the army, still demoralized by the Vietnam War, trains intelligence officers for future war with the USSR. The central character is Lieutenant Roy Banks. Smart and committed to the army, Banks enjoys the approbation of senior officers, the companionship of male peers, and considerable attention from female officers. But Banks spurns Lieutenant Jessica Lamoureaux, a beautiful schemer who has turned almost every male head on the base. When she is murdered, Banks must determine who killed her. The Officers’ Club is driven by its characters and its time and place. Whether it’s Banks’ love of jazz and “playpen Zen,” a fire-breathing colonel driven to single-handedly rescue the Army from its malaise, or a female noncom determined to rise above her impoverished childhood, his characters come alive. So, too, do 1981 and the harsh, sun-beaten, desperately poor border locale. It’s likely that Peters, who writes nonfiction on military affairs as well as novels, is writing about a place and time he really knows, and the result is a hugely entertaining tale. --Thomas Gaughan

Customer Reviews

The characters are all well drawn and interesting.
Patricia H. Parker
There are too many other books out there that I want to read and I don't want to waste anymore time reading this one.
Mew
I thought the lead character didn't have much depth and was hard to understand his rationalizations for his actions.
Samantha L. Sayre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Patricia H. Parker on December 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a wonderfully written book. Although there are a dozen or so characters, they are introduced in a way in which they are explained so that you know where they belong in the story. The back stories of a couple of them are also told when you are ready for them.

The story takes place on an isolated Army Base in Arizona. The only places to go after hours are by long trips to Bixby, Tucson and into Mexico. The young officers spend their time drinking, doping and having sex. Jessie Lamoureaux is what my grandmother used to call "A Wicked Woman". She lives to cause trouble and the only man whom she can't entice is Roy Banks. Roy, who is also the narrator of the story, is a twenty eight year old Lieutenant with several years of life experience, some good, some bad, behind him. He has seen the traps people get into, and he isn't buying what Jessie is offering. He watches what is happening, and predicts the outcome of each of Jessie's conquests and watches as she destroys lives.

The characters are all well drawn and interesting. Most are with the Army, but then there is Eli. Eli is a jazz afficinado and record store owner who is a lawyer who has escaped to the desert from the dirt and grime of show business lawyering in Los Angeles. A shared love of jazz, good food and good whiskey makes Eli the only true friend that Roy has.

This book is very very good, and I would highly recommend it. Mr Peters is a former Army Officer, and his descriptions of life among the people on the Base ring true. I was reminded several times of "From Here To Eternity". The writing is that good.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. VINE VOICE on January 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Officers Club", by Ralph Peters, is a murder mystery centered on a group of officers based at Ft Huachucha, Arizona in the 1980s. Second Lieutenant Roy Banks, the main character, is a ruggedly handsome man with a mysterious past. Banks' superiors identified that this young man is something special - special enough to entrust this young man to design a realistic war game for Captains attending the advanced intelligence officer course.

Banks and his officer friends founded a group called the "Officers Club." The friends enjoy weekends of drunken revelry wherever and whenever they can make it happen -- until one day when one of the young women is found murdered.

Peters tells a spell-binding tale. He did an excellent job describing the angst as characters dealt with issues unknown in the 80s into the story, such as a character dying of AIDS. Although I did find it highly unlikely a second lieutenant would be on faculty at the advanced intel school (he would first have to attend the basic course, then have enough time to establish professional credibility to be assigned such an important task), this is a relatively unimportant fact in the grand scheme of things. The story focuses on the web of interpersonal relationships surrounding Banks. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more of Peters' works.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Grandma TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Officers' Club arrived at my doorstep right as I was spending the day in bed with the flu - and it has kept me entertained and enthused all afternoon. Having been an old-school Army wife and spent a bit of time in Arizona, I can assure you that Peter's hits this one right out of the ball-park. You can almost see the early morning sun sparkle off the Huachuca Mountains and smell the desert sage. Part murder mystery, part spy novel, The Officers' Club is well worth taking your time to read. Highly recommended!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For anyone who was a child of the brown-boot army or a member of the black-boot army much of this book will sound familiar, especially if you ever found yourself stationed at one of those dusty army posts in the States. The time period here is just after Vietnam, but could just as well hold true of the era just after Korea when the general population and even the upper echelon seemed sometimes at a loss as to the army's true mission . This is a story of a group of men and women in the military floundering in their lives and in their career. It has one of the nastiest women encountered in a long time and the mystery is who killed her.
The main character and narrator, Lieutenant Roy Banks is drawn well enough that there could be the possibility of future interesting books written about his military and personal life.

There could also have been a glossary for those who seem at a loss for military language, it is always a shock to see how many look mystified when TDY, Article 15, I.G. or AWOL are put into a conversation and there is a lot of that in this story with no real help for those who are clueless in military lingo.

Those that appreciate a crime/ mystery, which is what this book's genre is more about would enjoy the time spent in reading this novel.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JD Cetola VINE VOICE on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read all of Ralph Peters' "Abel Jones" novels (writing as Owen Parry) and they rate easily as some of my favorite historical fiction (and favorites overall). I also enjoy his writing for the NY Post and other political pieces. Peters knows his stuff and doesn't shy from the truth. "The Officers' Club" is the first book he's written as Ralph Peters that I've read and I'm glad I did. I look forward now to reading his other novels.

"Officers' Club" is told in the first person narrative of Lieutenant Roy Banks. Banks is a smart guy although not the best judge of character. He's one of the good guys and pretty easy to root for. Peters tells the story of the murder of the beautiful and mysterious (and promiscuous) Lt Jessie Lamoureaux and is set in southern Arizona during the onset of the 1980s. The book opens with the murder investigation and closes with it. In the middle, we have an extended flashback of the events that led up to her brutal murder. Was she killed by one of her many unhappy lovers, a Mexican drug gang, someone else she'd ticked off (there is a long list of suspects)? Along the way, we learn about Roy's background (I wouldn't be surprised if he were in future novels), Jessie's background, cold war planning, Roy's lost love, a gay record dealer/lawyer to the stars, Mexican drug lords, and other folks in Roy's sphere of action. It's a fast-paced thriller and well worth reading for both the characters and the sense of post Vietnam/Cold War planning.
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More About the Author

Ralph Peters is a prize-winning, bestselling author whose work ranges from critically acclaimed novels set during the Civil War to works on strategy and security. The author of 31 published books, published under his own name and as "Owen Parry," Peters is also Fox News Strategic Analyst and a journalist/commentator who has covered multiple conflicts. A retired U.S. Army officer and former enlisted man, he served as a strategic scout in troubled regions from Pakistan and Burma to Bolivia and the dying Soviet Union. Research projects have taken him to Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Indonesia, and he continues to travel widely. Despite his adventures and misadventures, his favorite pursuit is his attempt to write the most-authentic and accurate Civil War novels possible, with the goal of bringing forgotten heroes and battles to the attention of modern readers (he warns readers that these are brutally realistic novels and that those who prefer sanitized and romanticized versions of the past should look elsewhere). He has been fascinated by our Civil War since childhood and applies his own military and literary experience in critically acclaimed works such as "Cain at Gettysburg," "Hell or Richmond" and, most recently, "Valley of the Shadow," the first three books in a five-book cycle on the fighting in the eastern theater of our Civil War.

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