MISSION TO INDOCHINA
Robert L. Tecklenburg
Fiction: Historical, Military/War, Spy/Espionage
In September of 1945, the Allies accept the surrender of Emperor Hirohito, ending World War II. However, the mainland region of Indochina remains in turmoil, with the British temporarily charged with maintaining order in the south, while Chinese nationalists occupy the north. The Japanese army is not disarmed and still controls much of the region. The French maintain their presence, hoping to take back their ‘Annamese’ colony after two years of direct Japanese rule, but Vietnamese nationalists are fighting for independence.
Major Charles Stanek has spent most of the last two years running clandestine operations in Eastern Europe to rescue downed American and British pilots from the Germans. He’s ready for his freedom from the military. However, General William Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), sends him to Indochina to investigate the mysterious death of an American lieutenant colonel gunned down in Saigon by Vietnamese nationalists who had agreed to respect American neutrality. Additionally, Charlie must discover why thousands of dollars in uncut diamonds were found on the man, and if the gems played a role in his death.
Charlie’s investigation takes him down Saigon’s backstreets and north to the Central Highlands and beyond. An officer in the Japanese police force heading the murder investigation soon proves to be an indispensable ally. Beautiful and mysterious Madame Thieu guides him through Vietnam’s complex politics, but he’s not sure he can trust her.
When Charlie is kidnapped by Russian agents and whisked away to a Hanoi prison, he is tortured for information about an agent code-named Rasputin, embedded in the Soviet army and spying for America. The Russians believe Charlie is his handler, sent to Indochina to extract the deep-cover spy. With assistance from a defecting KGB agent Charlie knew in Eastern Europe, the two battle their way out of Hanoi.
The danger mounts as Charlie continues his investigation, and soon he suspects intrigue and secret truths at the highest level threaten his safe return to the States. All he wants is to assume the quiet life of a civilian, but others seem to have a different plan for him...
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