Iron Triangle, The
Author: Joe Rhinehart
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 410 pages
The Iron Triangle is set during the Vietnam War Era and is about a young Lieutenant and his romance with a Korean girl. This romance is followed by his deployment to Vietnam; where he is forced to confront both the enemies of democracy as well as the enemy within. This novel encompasses both love and war in a brilliant fashion; intertwining the two opposites to make a compelling and captivating story that will be sure to keep anyone on the edge of their seat. This novel is written in such great detail that it literally takes you to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. The author's expertise on guerilla warfare makes this novel a must read for any military commander or personnel. The author goes into great detail about setting up both live and automatic ambushes; in addition, the author goes into the minutia of the physical and mental anguish a soldier experiences during war.
The Iron Triangle follows the life of a young infantry officer who experiences unexpected, but profound love, faces the professional jealousy of a senior officer, and forges invaluable friendships while under the harsh demands of an infantry soldier's lifestyle. In combat, he faces the loneliness, sadness, and misery that soldiers experience when in a dangerous and hostile environment. After his reassignment to Vietnam, in spite of his melancholy, he focuses on the training and survival of his men while forced to put up with the self-serving ambition of his inept commander.
This is, by far, one of the best books I have read on the Vietnam experience and is so detailed in the everyday ins and outs of life of the infantry soldier; you know that the author has first-hand knowledge of what he writes. For those who have served in the infantry in Korea and Vietnam during the Vietnam era, it is a detailed look back with the perspective of similar experiences into the harshness and realities of the infantry soldier's lifestyle.
Once you have begun to read The Iron Triangle, you easily follow the flow of the story because of the author's writing technique. Even with all the mundane details of daily life, the story moves forward smoothly. In fact, you begin to appreciate the particulars of each situation because you feel that you are there in the moment.
Dividing the saga into Books 1, 2,and 3 helps the reader focus on the current action going on, while frequently recalling the past as it relates to the here and now. The inclusion of a few illustrations or maps would have helped establish the settings for non-military readers.
The Iron Triangle ends abruptly and leaves the reader wanting more. Although it is easy to imagine the future outcome of the main character's unresolved love issues, a reader may wish to be guided to the assumed conclusion that the book leaves with him/her.
This book will certainly appeal to the military reader but may leave the non-military reader overwhelmed with the exacting details of an infantryman's existence. Overall, an excellent read.
Reviewed by: Frank Evans (2009)