Valley of the Shadow

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Valley of the Shadow

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"One of the finest military novels in many years."
- Kirkus

In The Fire Dream, Franklin Allen Leib's epic story from the Vietnam War, Lt. William Stuart, a compassionate platoon leader from the 7th ANGLICO (Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) survived his unit's last battle but continued to mourn his losses. Douglas Moser, master of the .50 caliber machine gun, was one of those missing in action. Moser, a "gentle giant" of a man, had been Stuart's closest companion.

In Valley of the Shadows, Stuart learns that the Red Cross has delivered a letter to Moser's mother informing her that he is a prisoner of war in Laos. "Tell Mr. Stuart," the letter closes. Stuart has his mission.

Moser languishes in the POW camp, tormented daily by Nan, the disfigured, soul-dead camp commandant. Meanwhile, Stuart's mission takes him to the mountains of Moser's boyhood home in Georgia and on to the Foreign Legion archives in France as he searches for clues to the exact location of the camp.

Along the way, Stuart recruits an old friend from their days together in Da Nang. Fellow navy officer Philip Hooper will bring along his elite team of SEALS (Sea, Air, Land) to form Moser's rescue party.

Bureaucratic inertia in Washington and the rising anti-war movement conspire to stall the rescue interminably. Failure of a major operation to liberate the "Hanoi Hilton" adds to the forces arrayed against Moser's rescue. Finally, it is only through the direct intervention of the president that Stuart's mission is a go.

But doubts remain: Has Stuart really found the "Valley of the Shadow" mentioned in Moser's letter? Is Moser still alive? And, most importantly, can Stuart, Hooper, and the SEALS really pull it off?

Valley of the Shadow is dramatic, vivid, authentic - and surprising.

"Old-fashioned heroism in a saga of Vietnam . . ."
- Newsday

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