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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-7355208-8-9
  • 335 pages
  • $3.99
Don't Tell
D. Z. Church, author
LT Robin Haas has a problem. Her Leading Chief has disappeared days before his Review Board. It’s not like him to run. His neighbors aren’t much help, but CWO Dan Cisco, back from Saigon, is at her side burdened by a secret of his own. One that will change both their lives. Laury Cooper, is cleaning up the mess he created in Saigon, when CDR Byron Cooper calls from an aircraft carrier on station in the South China Sea. That’s when everything turns nasty. Don’t Tell is the fourth novel in the Cooper Quartet, the story of a military family set against the turbulence of the Vietnam Era. It is May 1975 Saigon has fallen to the North Vietnamese, the dead have come back to life amidst shame, anger, and greed. It will take all the Coopers to make this one come out right. The Quartet begins with Dead Legend, Head First and Pay Back.
Reviews
In this absorbing family saga, set in the days immediately following the fall of Saigon, Navy personnel in Hawaii and California try to come to terms with the fallout from the war, fractured personal relationships, and an investigation into a sailor's alleged homosexuality. The final entry in Church’s Cooper Quartet, Don’t Tell finds Lieutenant Robin Haas facing the inquiry into Leading Chief Petty Officer Rivitz, and her complex relationships with old and new lovers. Also involved are her cousins, brothers Laury and Byron Cooper, naval officers with their own family issues and entanglements with French Indochinian clans. The large cast of characters, like the U.S. itself at its time, struggles toward a future that makes sense.

In this military milieu, Church—a Vietnam-era Navy veteran herself—does a remarkable job of keeping multiple plotlines running with clarity and power. Especially rich is Laury's fraught marriage with attorney Kate, complicated by his children from another woman. Equally good is the highly charged relationship between Robin and Chief Warrant Officer Dan Cisco. Throughout, Church demonstrates a good eye for the military base setting of the era, especially the winked-at sexism and harassment. The awkwardness of the positions faced by both female personnel and wives comes through again and again. Still, new readers should be aware that to fully appreciate the various developments here it's essential to read the quartet in order.

The most riveting of the many story lines involves Robin and Dan's investigation into the allegedly gay Rivitz, whose situation turns out to be more nuanced than they imagined. As the tale unwinds, Church also does a masterful job of depicting attitudes about homosexuality in a bygone era, including an introduction to "disco." Church spins a lively tale where motives are unclear in a vividly realized hothouse naval environment. The engaging characters and their detailed histories make this a satisfying capstone to a wide-ranging epic.

Takeaway: Fans of family dramas will cheer on the appealing Naval protagonists as they navigate a troubled period of American history.

Great for fans of: Siobhan Fallon, Colleen McCullough.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-7355208-8-9
  • 335 pages
  • $3.99

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