Published posthumously, this smart, politically inflected thriller draws on Juris Jurjevics’s memories of his service in Vietnam. If its chief merit is his sumptuous reconstruction of the era’s ambience, it is also refreshingly nuanced in its depiction of character — Miser is not above running scams of his own — while respecting the rules of the genre. The twist is executed with a card sharp’s panache.
Jurjevics vividly conjures up the febrile atmosphere of a city in turmoil. Himself a Vietnam war veteran, he succeeds brilliantly in fusing the real events and people of the time with his invented story of an ever more desperate quest to track down a killer.