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The House of Pain by Franklin Allen Leib
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The House of Pain

by Franklin Allen Leib

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1 (1) 2009 (1) fwr (1) MY (1) mystery (1) to-read (1)

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The House Of Pain was an interesting read for several reasons. At the center of this novel is the affect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by the main character, Crazy Johnny Dietrich, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. Crazy Johnny was a "tunnel rat", the first to enter a bunker when one was found. The tunnel rat was also the most likely to be blown up or maimed if the tunnel was adequately booby trapped to escape the Marine's inspection. When his God-daughter is kidnapped, Crazy Johnny is called upon by the girl's father to lend the family the money to pay the ransom. It is an indication of Edward Collins', the kidnapped girl's father, that even though the ransom figure quoted to him was $500,000, he told Johnny he needed $1 million to get his daughter back.

The novel goes on to explore the relationship between veterans of the Marine Corps in the book long after they came home from Vietnam. The book also explores the moral issues involved in a crime gone wrong. Who bears responsibility for what, and where is punishment the most effective result? In fact, should there be any punishment at all in the face of what appears to be overwhelming evidence.

Treatment of Veterans is always a timely topic, so even though this novel concerns the Vietnam war, the issues surrounding the service our brave soldiers provided their country and the country's response to the multitude of problems they may have to overcome as a result of that service remains a hot button subject. There's also the matter of the law and whether justice is really served if jurisprudence is closely followed.

I thought the questions posed by this book were interesting and provocative. In addition, Leib effortlessly drew me into his story, and Crazy Johnny Dietrich will be a character that's difficult to forget. ( )
  yargles | May 20, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812577817, Mass Market Paperback)

Franklin Lieb, a former naval officer and the highly acclaimed author of the bestselling Fire Arrow, has crafted a legal thriller as suspenseful as it is thought-provoking. When a spoiled teen is kidnapped outside her prestigious prep school, her parents are faced with the horror only those who've lost a child can know. In their desperation, afraid to contact the police, they enlist the help of millionaire "Crazy Johnny," a former Vietnam tunnel rat. A sufferer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the brutality he saw children endure in the war, he agrees to help the girl's father, but is afraid that if they pay up, the girl will be killed anyway. Crazy Johnny tracks down the kidnappers, determined that the only way to save Sally is to free her by force. Blood is spilled, and only in its aftermath does the true nature of the crime emerge. It is then up to the United States legal system to judge Johnny's vigilantism, and up to an old-time attorney and a young woman lawyer to see that justice emerges from the courtroom.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

To spite her parents a girl fakes her kidnaping, her friends demanding half a million dollars in ransom. The parents turn to Vietnam War veteran Johnny Dietrich, he mounts a commando-style action and tragedy follows. By the author of The Fire Dream.

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