By Juris Jurjevics
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Hardcover, 9780547564517, 294pp.)
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $26.00*
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Army cop Erik Rider prefers to fight his war in the saloons and streets of Saigon, so he is less than thrilled at being sent to a tiny American outpost in the remote wilderness of the Central Highlands to take down a Viet Cong opium operation hidden in the jungle. When Rider lands in Cheo Reo, things get complicated. Viet Cong battalions are gathering in the surrounding hills like storm clouds, while the corrupt South Vietnamese commander and his troops sit idle. And sixty thousand Montagnard tribespeople want their mountain homeland back.
Soon Rider is entangled with the local CIA man and an alluring doctor serving the indigenous tribes. As he closes in on the opium fields, he learns the hard way that that not all enemies are beyond the perimeter; someone in Cheo Reo wants him dead. Easy enough in a combat zone where killing is common and loyalties are for sale.
Red Flags is a masterly novel of soldiers and spies grappling with forces beyond their control and striving for the most basic goal in war—survival.