Frank Thompson, a recent widower and aging Vietnam veteran is down from Maine visiting his nephew, Bill, and his family in New Jersey.
While at a trap range, he and his nephew have a chance encounter with a strange man who claims to remember Frank from the war.
That night, the windows in Bill’s home are shattered along with the quiet peaceful lives the two men had been living.
Three veterans from a special combat unit directed by the CIA during the Vietnam War have gathered to discuss what they are going to do about a man they claim killed one of their own over forty years ago.
Jasper, Birdie and Pogo were part of a team that called themselves the National League All Stars. They were a squad of psychopathic killers trained by Special Forces to cause death and mayhem during the war. Now, they have banded together to hunt down and kill the professional soldier who led them all those years ago.
Drawing on his military training and a resurgent bloodlust from his tortured past, Frank prepares for a final, violent reckoning that will bring him full circle with the war that never left him.
First, let me just say that there are really no good guys here, at least not among the main players. Instead, there are varying degrees of bad. Now, that's not a dealbreaker for me, especially when it comes to this type of story. As expected, there is quite a lot of action, and of course, people are going to die. The writing is pretty good with a few exceptions where it felt a little simplistic, and while I appreciate a good attention to detail, sometimes Russo gives us a bit more of the mundane than entirely necessary. The story is decently balanced in terms of predictability and not so predictable, and by that, I mostly mean that while I did see some things coming, the author still surprised me with a few things along the way. The conclusion was somewhat odd, maybe a little anti-climactic, but I can see how it could possibly lead to another book. In the end, this one had some things I really liked, and some, not so much, but it was admittedly a bit out of my wheelhouse, and it did hold my interest enough that I wanted to see how it would all come out.