Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heirs of Cain-Tom Wallace

Heirs of Cain
Tom Wallace
Medallion, May 1 2010, $7.95
ISBN 9781605421025

In 1971 on both sides of the DMZ that supposedly divided Viet Nam, everyone in the North and South feared Cain the assassin who killed with his hands while looking at his victim’s eyes though some Communists are skeptical about the monster’s legend. However, most know he and his six guerilla warfare comrades (Snake, Cardinal, Deke, Seneca, Rafe and Moon) are the best just ask their superior officer General White who assigns the kills. However, after their deadly nightcrawler missions into the north end, the magnificent seven return to the States to accept their most difficult mission: becoming non-lethal civilians.

Four decades later, one of them Taylor is murdered in the exclusive Pinewood Estates on Pawley’s Island; his dying words to night watchman Moss is “Fallen Angels”. One of the seven Seneca has killed one of his former compatriots and is targeting the others as well while honing terrorist skills for a big attack on America. Professor Michael Collins learns of Seneca’s recent activity and decides that Cain must return knowing that he marks either himself or Seneca for death.

This is a dark thriller that asks intriguing questions about whether those deployed by the government as legal assassins having killed many of the enemy using any tactic necessary can truly return to civilian life. Although moral issues re government ethics of training and deploying assassins in combat are implied but sadly ignored for the High Noon suspense, readers who enjoy a fast-paced showdown thriller will want to peruse Tom Wallace’s exciting tale as Seneca and Cain complete the personal battle started in North Viet Nam forty years ago knowing only one will be left standing.

Harriet Klausner

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