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War Women: A Sueño and Bascom Investigation Set in South Korea

Review

War Women: A Sueño and Bascom Investigation Set in South Korea

I have always been a fan of Martin Limón’s above-average mystery series featuring Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom, which is set two decades after the Korean War. The books tend to take on physical and ethical issues, with our protagonists playing the moral barometer throughout.

At the onset of WAR WOMEN, the 15th and latest entry, Sueño and Bascom are commiserating that business is slow for them since they have been mostly turning a blind eye to the petty black-market dealings of certain NCOs (non-commissioned officers) who just need some extra cash. But that all changes when they are assigned a case involving Sergeant First Class Cecil B. Harvey, who allegedly has absconded with a top-secret document that could get him court-martialed if found in his possession.

"WAR WOMEN is a quick and absorbing read featuring complex characters you really believe in and a resolution that is satisfying."

While they are in pursuit of Harvey, their investigation crosses paths with that of American reporter Katie Byrd Worthington. Worthington is used to doing controversial stories and claims to have an article she is getting ready to release that will expose the U.S. Army at the highest level for ignoring criminal treatment of women within its ranks, up to and including rape. It turns out that the man Sueño and Bascom are pursuing, who is nicknamed “Strange,” has similar material documenting years of abuse that has gone unchecked.

Once Sueño and Bascom catch up with Strange, they hear him out and decide to assist him as much as they can without letting their superiors know that they have found him. When the byline from Worthington hits the papers with the title “War Women,” the Army realizes that it is going to be extremely difficult to sweep these allegations under the carpet. Sueño and Bascom do their part to (unofficially) investigate these charges, recognizing that for some of their superiors, the results will be career-ending.

WAR WOMEN is a quick and absorbing read featuring complex characters you really believe in and a resolution that is satisfying. Sueño and Bascom are sort of like Pierce and Hunnicutt from "M*A*S*H," but with the ability to actually see that justice is done.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on November 19, 2021

War Women: A Sueño and Bascom Investigation Set in South Korea
by Martin Limón

  • Publication Date: November 16, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime
  • ISBN-10: 1641292792
  • ISBN-13: 9781641292795