JAG lawyer Sean Drummond has gotten himself in way over his head -- with a case that challenges his deepest fears and a co-counselor who challenges just about everything else. Assigned to South Korea as an advocate for a gay officer accused of brutally killing the son of a South Korean war hero, Drummond is teamed up with an old law-school nemesis. Katherine Carson is a curvy, liberal, William Kunstler-like attorney with a reputation for manipulating the media on behalf of her mostly gay clients. Drummond is as distraught to be working with a woman who knows how to push all his buttons as he is to be defending this client. However, it's just this lack of political correctness that makes him the one man the CIA can trust with its disturbing secrets, and Drummond quickly learns that what appears to be an open-and-shut case is really just the top layer of a deep conspiracy.
A relentless fusillade of surprise and humor drives this unusually jocular military/legal thriller set in Seoul. When the soldier son of South Korea's defense minister is raped and murdered by an American soldier, career military Judge Advocate General Maj. Sean Drummond is yanked from a Bermuda beach to serve as co-counsel at the request of brilliant civilian defense attorney and gay/lesbian legal activist Katherine Carlson. Bitter rivals in law school and complete political opposites, these two bash heads on a case that is anathema to army brass, sparks Korean riots, ignites gay activist and right-wing religious groups, sets off a media frenzy and fuels a push to get U.S. troops out of South Korea. JAG officers are unloved at best, but Drummond is despised and sabotaged on all sides as Carlson plays puppet master by fueling his ego and baiting the brass. Facing the army equivalent of a hanging judge, corrupt Korean police and devious CIA actions, Drummond fears for his client's future and his own. Haig's hero (back in action after his turn in Secret Sanction) cracks wise with refreshingly derogatory humor, skewering diplomats, bleeding hearts, religious nuts, military homophobes and gay activists alike while skillfully untangling the issue of gays in the military. Korean culture and the country's North/South divide play an important role in the novel's denouement, as Haig successfully kindles his powder keg of a plot. Agent, Luke Janklow. (May) Forecast: This is the second novel in a projected series featuring Drummond. The first, Secret Sanction, has been optioned by Intermedia Films with Nicholas Cage to star as Drummond. If the film comes off, Haig (son of former secretary of state Alexander Haig), could reap substantial sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Outstanding!
Posted June 10, 2011 by Bill Hawkins , FresnoEven the quiet moments of the plot kept your interest in "what's next".
The plot twists and turns were surprises, right up to the very end. Excellent read, highly recommended.
2 . Non-stop twists, turns.
Posted April 20, 2010 by Steve , Dover, PAThis novel keeps the reader hooked with the high-speed mental and physical action. It keeps the reader thinking and trying turning page after page to keep up with the story line.
Definitely a worthwhile read!
Grand Central Publishing
November 05, 2003
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Excerpt from Mortal Allies by Brian Haig
There are two things about Korea you never forget.
The first is the roiling mishmash of stinks.That May, there was the bitter stench of tear gas, an essence of spring and fall, since Korean students are what you might term fair-weather protesters. There was the ripened aroma of kimchi, a spiced and aged cabbage that makes your nostrils think your upper lip's plagued with gangrene. On top of that was the acrid odor of garlic, the lifeblood of every Korean. Finally, there were all the smells of careless progress: smog, construction, and human sweat.
The second thing you never forget is exactly how miserably steamy a Korean late spring day can be. My shirt was pasted to my back before I got halfway across the tarmac to the flight building of Osan Air Base.
I dashed straight through the entry and shoved aside a sputtering Army captain who was rooted like a potted plant waiting to meet and greet me.
"Major Drummond, I, ooof--"was all he could manage before he crashed up against the wall. Then I heard him skittering along behind me.
I moved my stiff legs as fast as I could, till I spied the door I so desperately sought. I lunged through hard enough to blow it off the hinges; the captain scurried right behind me. At the urinal I got my zipper down not a moment too soon. Another millisecond and the jig would've been up.
My escort propped himself against the sink and studied me with an awed expression."Jeez, you should see your face." "You got no idea." "Long flight, huh?"
I put my left hand against the wall. "Long ain't the half of it. Know whose neck I'd like to wring? The miserable bastard who broke the only toilet in the C-141. I've had my legs crossed since the Alaskan border."
"Well, you're finally here," he consoled, grinning like a fool. "I guess I am."
A full, awkward thirty seconds passed before he nervously tapped his leg."My name's Chuck Wilson. I, uh, I've been told to pick you up and escort you to Seoul."
"Hey, that's great, Chuck.Why?" "Huh?" "Why are you taking me to Seoul? Why am I in Korea in the first place?"
An exquisitely befuddled look popped onto his face."I got no idea, sir. Why are you here?"
The stream of urine flooding out of my body had not abated one bit. I got worried. Has anybody ever pissed himself to death? I didn't ask him that, though. I said,"If I knew that,why the hell would I be asking you?"
He glanced down at his watch and said,"You okay, Major? It's been over a minute."
"No, I'm not okay," I complained."My hand's tired. This damn thing's so big and heavy. Can you come over here and hold it for me?"
We both chuckled a little too emphatically, like real men do whenever any topic arises even remotely touching on homosexuality. "Sheeit," he drawled in a deep, manly way,"some things a man's gotta do hisself."
"Damn right," I firmly pronounced.
He averted his eyes while I gave Ol' Humungo a manly shake, reholstered,and got my zipper back up."Okay,"I said,moving to the sinks and splashing some water on my hands and face,"let's find my bags and get outta here."
"Forget the bags," he said."My driver's getting 'em."
We went out, and a husky young corporal named Vasquez was standing proudly beside a spanking-new black Kia sedan with lots of gleaming chrome.I made him open the trunk so I could peek in, and sure enough there sat my duffel bag and oversize lawyer's briefcase.Then Wilson and I climbed into the backseat.
"Well, ain't this the plush life," I remarked, running an admiring hand across the leather upholstery. "I figured you'd get me in a nasty old humvee."
"Not unless I got an armed escort." "Armed escort?"
He gave me a curious look."Haven't you been reading the papers?" I said, "Hey, Chuck, see these shorts and this ratty T-shirt I'm wearing?" "Yes sir."
"This is what's called formal attire in Bermuda. See, that's where I was until, uh, oh"--I looked at my watch--"until about twenty-eight hours ago.Know what's so great about Bermuda? No? Let me tell you: No newspapers. No TVs. No cares in the world but which beach has the skimpiest bikinis and which bar's having a two-for-one special at happy hour."
He nodded right along."Yeah, well, things aren't so blas� over here. We're drowning in anti-American riots. It's gotten so bad we're restricted to our bases. No civilian cars with U.S. plates and no unescorted military vehicles are allowed outside the gates."
"That why we're in this Kia?"
"It's less noticeable.And it took a two-star general to sign off on letting me come get you. I asked for a helicopter, but, no offense intended, they said you just weren't that damned important."
"A helicopter?"I asked,beginning to think this captain was a little over the edge.This was South Korea.These people were our allies, not our enemies.