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Traitor Hardcover – April 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company; 1st edition (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380976412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380976416
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I do not imagine that a one-man crusade disguised as a thriller can change much," says Ralph Peters, career soldier turned bestselling author, in an afterward to Traitor. Maybe not, but everybody on the Beltway who deals with (or votes on) defense budget issues should read this beautifully crafted story about a man of principle trying against all odds to do the right thing.

Lieutenant Colonel John Reynolds is "one of a legion of staff officers sweating blood to keep an underfunded Army alive." The army is faced with even more savage budget cuts if a project called NGFB (Next Generation Fighter Bomber) gets the approval that its corporate sponsor, Macon-Bolt Industries, seeks. Two of Reynolds's old Army buddies--a general and a former officer turned lobbyist for Macon-Bolt--die suddenly and suspiciously. But it's not until his own live-in ladyfriend, singer Tish O'Malley, is killed by a car bomb that Reynolds begins to realize his own life has somehow become linked with the fate of NGFB.

There are some superb scenes of action and many worthy opponents, especially a totally believable military madman called Roscoe "Punchy" Hunt who destroys works of art for dramatic effect. But the real villain in Traitor is a giant military-industrial-political complex determined to suck up as much public money as it can. People like Reynolds and Peters can only nip at its heels. The author has also expressed his strong opinions in the acclaimed nonfiction book Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph? --Dick Adler

From Publishers Weekly

"I do not imagine that a one-man crusade disguised as a thriller can change much," writes career soldier turned bestselling author Peters (The War in 2020, etc.) in an afterword to his knowing, deeply involving new thriller. Maybe not, but everybody inside the Beltway who deals with (or votes on) defense budget issues should read this beautifully crafted story about a man of principle trying against all odds to do the right thing. Lt. Col. John Reynolds is "one of a legion of staff officers sweating blood to keep an underfunded Army alive." Reynolds will be faced with even more savage budget cuts if a project called NFGB (Next Generation Fighter Bomber) gets the approval for which its corporate sponsor, Macon-Bolt Industries, is lobbying so hard. Two of Reynolds's old army buddiesAan African-American general and an officer turned lobbyist for Macon-BoltAdie suddenly and suspiciously. When his live-in ladyfriend, singer Tish O'Malley, is apparently killed by a car bomb, Reynolds begins to realize his own life has somehow become linked with the fate of NGFB. In addition to superb scenes of action, there are many worthy opponents here, notably a sharply sketched military madman destroying pets and works of art for dramatic effect, and a pair of ruthless French agents limited only by their own country's budgetary problems. But the real villain of this smartly effective thriller with a message is a giant military-industrial-political complex determined to suck up as much public money it can while people like Reynolds (and Peters) nip at its heel.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read almost all of Ralph Peters' novels, and this is probably my favorite to date. I passed it over in hardcover--frankly it didn't sound very interesting. I couldn't have been more wrong: it's one of the best written, engrossing novels I've read in a long time. Peters is one of the few military thriller writers that can name drop Thomas Hardy novels and actually make us believe his characters read them. I know what a cliche this sounds, but I couldn' t put it down. Peters has within him his best novel yet--some day he'll write the Once An Eagle of his generation of officers.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After 25 years in the defense industry, watching the Services buy big things they don't need while neglecting small things they do (like enough pay so the troops don't have to be on food stamps), it continues to disturb me that the American taxpayer continues to allow Congress to sell out to what Ike Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex". TRAITOR could have been a documentary. This is a great novel, thrilling and unpredictable, but it is also based on the real world and all the more gripping because of this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John G. Gleeson Sr. on June 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A new book by Ralph Peters is a must-buy in this house, and Traitor tells why. Greedy defense contractors are threatening to rip off the taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. The hero, John Reynolds, is no James Bond, but, rather, an honorable soldier who won't compromise his integrity. If this is your first Peters' book, I'll bet it won't be your last!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Logar on March 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The portrayal of our defense industry in this story is unfortunately accurate. We have placed so much emphasis on "smart weapons", that we have forgotten the real effectiveness of our military. The action and pace of this book will keep the reader enthralled and they will not want to put it down.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In an author's afterword, Peters decribes this book as his homage to Chandler, Hammett and Cain, which it most certainly is. But there's no overt emulation of the style of any of those authors; what one does experience is the exhilarating momentum of plot, vivid characterization, and the acerbic wit that those authors brought to bear in their work. Peters' protagonist is an honorable man making his way through a chaotic present, similar to Philip Marlowe in Chandler's novels, with a comparable eye and ear for the "luminous detail." And the first-person perspective makes for some great interior monologue throughout the book. Readers who are dismayed by the lack of moral center in the books of such authors as James Ellroy might find Peters' writing a worthy alternative.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Claude T Hawkins on March 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished another excellent novel by Ralph Peters --- Traitor (hard cover).
I placed it at the bottom of a stack of books I brought home from the library, two weeks ago. I generally put his books at the top of my reading list, but the cover art was so impressively unappealing and the title so blasé that I almost took it back to the library unread.
It seems to me that Mr. Peters has proven his ability to write exceptional, and well plotted, thrillers. Why would anyone stick such an uninspired cover on a truly extraordinary read?
If someone likes Clancy, Higgins, et. al. they should love Ralph Peters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oregon Elle on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy most of Rakph Peters books, and think Traitors is one of his finest.

His writing is tight and obviously well researched. The characters are believable and plots grab you by the neck. I read this when I should have ebbn sleeping..couldn't put it down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ralph Peters is one those success stories that only the army is capable of: rocker dropout joins army and becomes one of America's leading strategic thinkers. In his spare time, he turns out immensely entertaining page turners, which are remarkable for holding your interest by sheer narrative drive and deft characterization. Sex and violence are not as important as plot and background. His heroes tend to win not by being tougher or smarter than their enemies, but by being more honorable. In Devil's Garden and Twilight of Heroes, his best books, one learns a fair bit about current international concerns, as well. No one shows better how much damage can be caused by stupid career minded bureaucrats. Victory is always bittersweet, with the real bad guys still in control. Both Garden and Twilight are worth more than their cover price just for the wonderfully accurate portrayal of that blowhard Strobe Talbott. In Traitor, Peters tries something new, less realistic, more violent, more cynical. His villains are evil this time. Although I prefer the tone of his earlier novels, he is in top form here and his villain, Punchy Hunt, is one of the great bad guys of popular fiction: a Shakespeare quoting millionaire war hero who respects integrity and is, in his own way, honorable as well. Peters understands that the best villains in literature have as many virtues as the hero does, they're just put together differently.
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