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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
“Two salt tablets, a canteen of water and push on grunt.” This is the mantra that drives John Walker to maintain his purpose. Walker is a larger than life character whose objective is to right the wrongs created by the heroin lords of Laos, those vile creatures who are responsible for the deaths of far too many college students and whose business is the ruination of an otherwise prosperous future for too many trusting individuals. Walker’s wife doesn’t even know what motivates her husband who she hasn’t seen in years, having buried his war veteran body some time ago. Special Investigator Teri Altro unknowingly becomes Walker’s champion in his campaign to eradicate the plans of the drug terrorists who have infiltrated the US. Walker’s plan seemed to have evolved many years ago when he became infatuated with America’s participation in the Vietnam conflict. While there he was “adopted” by individuals more powerful than the mere mortals. It is up to Altro and her team to uncover Walker’s plan and learn to trust in the unexplainable.
T. W. Dittmer has created a mystical tale that fluctuates from war story to ancient legend. Just when you are caught up in his story of dragons and ancient magic, he weaves us back into the present reality of criminal investigation and political injustice. More than once I found myself analyzing the symbolic meaning behind the descriptions and the true meaning of the military mantra of “two salt tablets, a canteen of water and push on grunt.”