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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
The Vietnam War may have officially ended in 1975, but repercussions are still felt in 2008 in Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders by Frank E Hopkins. Retired history professor Paul O’Hare plans to write a book about the abandoned farm houses dotting the southern peninsula of Delaware. In investigating one of these homes, he falls through rotten floor boards and discovers a skeleton. After he reports it to the police, another skeleton is discovered in the same crawlspace and the hunt is on for a killer. After another skeleton is found and connections are made between the dead men, the plot widens to include a large number of murdered and missing graduate students from the University of Maryland, all activists for and against the Vietnam War.
Detective Margaret Hoffman is in charge of this strange case that hints of CIA involvement and old scores that still need to be settled to prevent the widespread nature of the crime from coming to light. In the meantime, the unsanitary condition of these abandoned homes leads to a confined outbreak of the hantavirus, which is extremely deadly. Between secret operatives and a killer pathogen, it is not clear who will be spared and who will die for something that began over 35 years earlier.
Great detective work highlights this fast-paced murder mystery, Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders by Frank E Hopkins. There is much more here than meets the eye, though, with an interesting look at a tumultuous point in US history, the intrigue of “alphabet agency” involvement in people’s lives, the beginnings of a love story and tremendous insight into human nature. Decidedly engaging and well written, Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders offers great characters and complex action in a book that will hold you spellbound. Very well done and quite interesting.