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Having been disappointed by some of the more recent DeMille books, I decided to listen to this one, in spite of having read it at least twice since it was published in 1992. I didn't see the 1999 film, but picking this one to listen to was one of my best ideas, ever. It's an amazing story, start to finish -- gripping and tense, but still funny, especially when DeMille's trademark smart-ass protagonist cuts loose. Just a great book.
It's always funny how differently a book comes off when you read it yourself, as compared to having it read to you by someone as excellent as Scott Brick. For this one, I knew 'who done it', I even knew why. And yet there was simply no good place to stop listening -- ever. This was one of those books where I kept manufacturing manual tasks so I could keep on listening.
The General's Daughter is a far more complex book than just "a murder mystery", as DeMille writes in a long and interesting foreword to this edition. As I was listening, I kept thinking that I wished I had a book club to discuss this one with -- there are so many issues, so many aspects of this tale that deserve discussion, that I longed for another reader to share ideas with.
As just one aspect of the story, the book deals with the integration of women into the armed services, not just as file clerks and secretaries, but equal to men in job assignments. DeMille makes the point in his introduction that he's all in favor of such equality in the military, but the book paints a slightly different picture -- or seems to. Even though I spent time as a Women Marine, I'm not at all as sure as DeMille is, that full equality for women across the board, including on the battlefield, is such a great idea. Men and women ARE different, in spite of a trend today to insist that they are not. Whether those differences can be sublimated so that they can easily serve together under battlefield conditions, is open to question -- at least in my mind. This isn't a battlefield book, but one of the plot elements still raises these questions.
The General's Daughter is a multi-layered tale - you can listen to it and enjoy nothing more than the uncovering of the murderer's identity, the why's and how's the very clever deed was accomplished. Or you can allow yourself to delve into many of the deeper issues the book raises. Whatever, it's not to be missed.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
Nelson DeMille has been writing novels under his name and various pen names for over 40 years. He remains very active with the wonderful John Corey series. As I look back at DeMille stand alone books I have read, The General's Daughter stands out as my personal favorite. There is not a lot of action or suspense, but it is a sad and poignant mystery very well told. The book was originally published in 1992 and the movie version starring John Travolta and Madereine Stowe was released in 1999. The movie is not as good as the book. I purchased the Audible version when it was released in 2009. As a bonus, the story is told as only he can by narrator Scott Brick.
The main character in The General's Daughter is US Army CID investigator Paul Brenner. Brenner also appears as main character in DeMille's Upcountry as well as a relatively minor character in The Panther (Book 6 in the John Corey series).
The General's Daughter is set on a US Army Base where the general in charge of the base has a West Point grad and rising star daughter also on the base. The daughter is found dead on the base in some very unusual, indeed unique, circumstances. As I wrote above the story is very sad and the mystery great.
I highly recommend this novel! It is among DeMille's best.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful