It’s been nine years since Boothe Treader summered at her family’s island. Twelve since her brother died on its rocky shore. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her, her parents for divorcing, or the dark-eyed boy who watched him drown. The stranger, the killer, no punishment that let him live could ever be enough. So, she wished him dead each passing day.
Now her dead brother is beckoning her to his gravesite. Her mother has deeded her the island. And old friends are lining up to welcome her back—or are they?
“A mystery rich with unease…”
It is April 1975. The U.S. has withdrawn leaving only a few Marines to protect the U.S. Embassy and Airbase HQ. As the North Vietnamese close in on Saigon, journalists stay on to report the advance, South Vietnamese beg to leave, and the U.S. is ready to forget—but not the Coopers.
Two acquaintances from opposite worlds call in their markers, sending Laury Cooper careening back to Saigon on a knight’s errand. Disgraced, CDR Byron Cooper is given one last chance aboard an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. As Saigon falls, both brothers face their future, a future endangered by greed, desire, treachery, and drugs.
One of them will risk everything, including his wife and children, to win.
“This wartime thrill ride turns the waning days of the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam into a pulse-pounding, smart tale of suspense.”
Teen heiress Calypso Swale was about to join the U.S. Olympic equestrian team when a car crash involving a drunken Grieg Washburn, heir to Washburn Exploration (WashEx) empire, kills her parents. At the time, Larch Swale, Calypso’s father, was the COO of WashEx. Her father’s last word to her was “Run,”and Calypso obligingly disappeared with a chunk of his money and a precious patent for a new kind of engine. Five years later, Grieg’s father is dead and it looks like someone’s trying to kill Grieg, too. WashEx’s board is offering a reward for Calypso’s return, and no one wants her found more than Grieg.
“This well-constructed thriller provides plenty of action… The protagonists are unusual and compelling. Their mutual need to reinvent themselves in order to survive will resonate with readers as the double-crosses and questions pile up. This is a satisfying look at the devastation wrought by selfishness… Great for fans of James Patterson’s The 6th Target, David Baldacci’s A Minute to Midnight.”
Head First is the second novel in the Cooper Quartet, the story of a military family set against the tumult of the Vietnam Era. It is December 1972, President Nixon has ordered carpet bombing of Vietnam, and public opinion has turned sharply against the war.
For Jolie Minotier the stakes couldn’t be higher, adrift in the town where her mother, terrorist Chloe Minotier, abandoned her, fearful her mother will resurface, rejected by her father, she does the one thing she can think to do—run. But she doesn’t anticipate being kidnapped or that her father, now CDR Byron Cooper, her uncle, Laury Cooper, or her aunt, LT Robin Haas, will care. But they do. Sufficiently to endanger their lives and careers in the rush to find her.
Jolie’s disappearance sets off a chain of events from kidnapping, to heroin smuggling, to unsanctioned insertion into Vietnam that will change the landscape of the Cooper family forever.
“As historical fiction, Head First is accurate; as a novel, it’s moving, intriguing and a successful portrait of a family living, trying to survive, during extremely trying times, under extraordinary circumstances.”
—Wanda Fischer, Reedsy Discovery