*Peters, Ralph. The Officers' Club. Forge:Tor. Jan 2011. c.304p. ISBN 978-0-7653-2680-5. $25.99. Fiction
In 1981 at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona, several young intelligence officers spend their off-duty hours in pursuit of no-strings-attached sex. Why then do these presumably carefree affairs lead to murder? The victim is First Lt. Jessie Lamoureux, a gorgeous but “reptilian” seductress. Lt. Roy Banks, who narrates the tale and is himself having an affair with a married female officer, had resisted Jessie’s wiles, but other officers were less fortunate. He knows at least four casualties left in her wake. But Jessie, whose past, like Roy’s, is mysterious, also had connections to Mexican drug bosses and plenty of discarded civilian lovers. Anchored by his friendship with a fellow jazz fan, a gay man who owns a music store in nearby Bisbee, and by his respect for the army, Roy lets us see with gripping and convincing detail the “sexual vandalism” that had turned the intelligence school into a “Peyton Place without the moral restraint.” VERDICT Peters, a strategic analyst for Fox News and the author of The War After Armageddon and over 20 other books, offers an absorbing and finely crafted portrayal of complex characters whose intertwining relationships come apart under the strain of differing expectations. In the tradition of James Jones, Norman Mailer, and Nelson DeMille.