In his book Vietnam's Valleys of Darkness, author H.J. Thomas spins a tale of intrigue, combining combat with spies and smugglers. Never sure who is the good guy or gal and who isn't, Thomas's protagonist, Chief Warrant Officer Ray Bryant is simply trying to survive his third tour in Vietnam. When a fellow American soldier tries to kill him with a grenade, Bryant's worst suspicions become reality. When a Vietnamese waitress at the club on base warns him about an upcoming mission that she shouldn't know anything about, Bryant's faith in the system is again shaken. The author's own experience in the military intelligence and aviation can be felt and adds to the authenticity of the story, I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Vietnam war and /or military history.
Review by Bob Doerr (June 2019)
It's 1968 and the war in Vietnam wears weary on all involved. Chief Warrant Officer Ray Bryant is on his third tour, and as a dual-rated U.S. Army aviator, he's not happy when he is temporarily reassigned to fly Hueys for the 5th Special Forces Group out of Kontum. Both crew and aircraft are tested to their limits, struggling against what usually accompanies missions with a "special" designation. Combat can always become confusing, but Bryant finds it nearly impossible to separate the bad guys from the good. Even Special Operations and the chain of command seem to have a dark cloud hanging over their policies and activities. Bryant's military training and experience are tested to the maximum as he seeks to maintain his military career and complete the mission requirements.
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 305