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The Honored Dead - Robert Macomber (Honor Series, Book 7)
Cmdr. Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, is in French Indochina in 1883 on a secret mission for President Chester Arthur.
The novel opens with Wake aboard a riverboat on the Mekong River. The mission sounded simple in Washington: deliver the American president's reply to a confidential naval offer from the king of Cambodia, while clandestinely assessing the region's political and military situation. Wake figures it will take two more weeks and he'll be homeward bound.
Six months later, after nearly dying at the hands of opium warlords, Chinese-Malay pirates, and French gangsters; after suffering starvation at sea, surviving a typhoon, being marooned on a beach, and enduring a horrific full-scale battle--Wake is still there. Exhausted, frustrated, and scared, he and his motley band of companions can now testify that nothing is simple in the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Empire of Vietnam.
This story illuminates the beginning of the bloody cultural clash that lasted for the next hundred years in Southeast Asia, with each side determined to avenge their honored dead