Saigon Gold by Hugh Scott

 Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Saigon Gold is a mystery thriller enhanced by the job well-done regarding the setting.  Authors who do their research to take the readers into the "real world" make their stories seem closer to nonfiction than fiction. Hugh Scott was able to do that, as well as to keep the mystery going right up to the very end.  This book is filled with surprises at every turn.  For those who appreciate a thriller, this is a book not to miss.  Another great addition to the book is the website www.saigongold.com which takes you to Vietnam via photos of locations in the story along with snippets from the book and then gives "bits of history" that relate.  This adds a depth to Saigon Gold that I really appreciate.  This book would make a great addition to anyone's library.
 
Hugh Scott wrote Saigon Gold set in present-day Vietnam with the main character being a U.S. war veteran, Robert Anderson, going back to the country where he served many years earlier, expecting a business venture revolving around a winery consulting job.  However, from the moment he enters the country things just don't seem right.  Just why was he questioned at the airport? And who was the interviewer?
 
Mr. Scott takes us through Vietnam via the experiences of his main character, remembering the country as it had been during the war and noticing changes in this his first return.  The connection Robert Anderson had with a Vietnamese officer, who had saved his life during the war, puts him into a scheme to get recovered gold out of the country, from a fortune that went missing in 1975.  Mr. Anderson went into Vietnam with all good intentions, and even in the gold scheme, he planned to give back to the Vietnamese. 
 
So just who was that man that questioned Anderson at the airport?  Is he just imagining being followed?  Anderson has to get answers to why his name is on enemy documents.  What did the ambush that he survived years ago have to do with this trip to Vietnam? Who can he get to help him that he can trust?  He turns to the American consulate employee Jenny Ngo who knows the language and will help him get to the people he needs to question.  The plot thickens as the people that they question end up dead. The mystery of it all is very intense and takes the reader right along with Robert Anderson who if he wants to remain alive must figure out the person(s) plotting against him.  All the while, China's expansionist navy lurks in the background, planning an operation that threatens America's supremacy in the Western Pacific.
 
Hugh Scott served his country for twenty years as an army officer.  Saigon Gold is his debut novel and I am hoping for many more books to come from this great author.  He is now serving readers worldwide with this great work of historical fiction.  Be sure to read this book and keep your eyes open for more to come from Hugh Scott.

Reviewed by: Joyce Gilmour (2010)


Author's Synopsis

Saigon Gold won the 2010 Gold Medal award for fiction from the Military Writers Society of America.

Veterans and tourists will be entranced by this fast-paced thriller in which a decorated American officer returns to Vietnam and must face the harsh truths of his military exploits. The daring plot includes China's expansionist navy attempting to seize a key base, thus upsetting the balance of military power in the Western Pacific. 

Robert Anderson is lured into a scheme to help a wartime friend recover a gold fortune. But a vengeful North Vietnamese official is watching. Discovery of cryptic documents about an ambush that only Anderson and a Vietnamese officer survived launches Anderson and companion Jenny Ngo on a wild chase around scenic Vietnam to unravel their secret before every witness is silenced by a mysterious killer.