Missing, Presumed Wed
Five Star, Sep 2009, $25.95
In 1974 Vietnam vets struggle with readjustment into American society though the prime wisdom is to conceal your military service. Many are thankful to president Nixon, not for his support to the soldier as that has been a typical right wing sham, but because Watergate has removed the vet from the front page.
Still every returning soldier struggles. Former-Army nurse Elizabeth Pepperhawk is confused with what she wants out of her relationship with Colonel Darby Baxter. Especially confusing her is Darby is thinking of expediting his ex-wife from a mess she is in Hanoi. Elizabeth's roommate, former MP Avivah Rosen has gotten a job with the Asheville police department, but quickly realizes she is a token assigned to community support work. Her friend veteran Benny Kirkpatrick is marrying war widow Lorraine Fulford. However, someone abducts his mother Grace, who returns unharmed the very next day but totally bewildered over what happened. Grace says Peter Taft, whom she knew in Alaska years ago snatched her. When someone kills Taft, Avivah investigates only to find her friends and family in the forefront of her inquiry as their secrets begin to surface just in time to destroy the wedding.
The mystery is fun to follow though straightforward but as always in the Pepperhawk-Rosen series it is following the personal lives of former Vietnam vets trying to readapt to American society in the early 1970s that makes Sharon Wildwind's saga super. The story line is once again profound as the readers gets deep into the psyche of several vets as the war is blamed on the soldier instead of LBJ and Nixon. With a mystery somewhat in support of the cast, MISSING, PRESUMED WED serves as an enjoyable timely historical thriller reminding readers to support the vets assimilate when they return (see FIRST MURDER IN ADVENT and SOLDIER ON THE PORCH).