Son of Saigon
Son of Saigon has a unique and surprisingly entertaining feature — the story’s hero is an “old fart.” Hank Reagan has just turned seventy, is recently widowed, and lives in the Sunrise Adult Community condos. He and his fellow resident, Norm Rothstein, spend their days playing cards, eating and…waiting to die.Their dreary existence is turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of Mai, a sixty-ish but still beautiful Vietnamese woman. Unbeknownst to Hank, his wartime romance with Mai had produced a son who, she tells him, vanished twenty years ago. The apparently happy and well adjusted teenager just disappeared the day after high school graduation. She’s come to Hank to seek his help finding the forty-year-old missing man.
Hank and Norm are easily persuaded, and in no time at all set out in an RV on a septuagenarian road trip hoping to track down Hank Junior’s school friends, now spread across Arizona, California, and Colorado. They soon discover that something happened the day before graduation, something sufficiently troubling to cause the youngster to abandon his mother and his life. At each stop, they learn a little more about the life-changing event, until finally they know what really took place at the end-of-school booze-up on a nearby hilltop. But that’s not the end of the story. They still have to find Hank’s son, someone who has been successfully hiding himself for twenty years, and, when they do, they discover he’s deep in a criminal mess of his own making.
The author steadily builds the suspense throughout the quest to find out who did what and why at that fateful pre-graduation binge, drawing all the while on the pair’s irreverent and funny banter to provide a nice offset to the tension. Hank, a former CIA-operative, proves a more formidable protagonist on the battlefield and in the bedroom than his seventy years might suggest, but even he isn’t spared his share of senior jokes. After Hank Junior has been found, the story loses some of its mystery and humor and turns into a more conventional thriller as his father works out how best to extract him from a highly dangerous and illegal situation. Overall though, Son of Saigon is sure to keep mystery fans of all ages — not just the seventy year olds — engaged, intrigued, and amused.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||David Myles Robinson|
|Page Count||232 pages|
|Publisher||Terra Nova Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|