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Vietnam, 1963. A female Viet Cong assassin is trawling the boulevards of Saigon, catching US Army officers off-guard with a single pistol shot, then riding off on the back of a scooter. Although the US military is not officially in combat, sixteen thousand American servicemen are stationed in Vietnam “advising” the military and government. Among them are Ellsworth Miser and Clovis Robeson, two army investigators who have been tasked with tracking down the daring killer.
Set in the besieged capital of a new nation on the eve of the coup that would bring down the Diem regime and launch the Americans into the Vietnam War, Play the Red Queen is a tour-de-force mystery-cum-social history, breathtakingly atmospheric and heartbreakingly alive with the laws and lawlessness of war.
'The year is 1963 and the city is Saigon, still a humid backwater but about to become the red-hot center of a geopolitical firestorm...Jurjevics brings all of it to colorful, fragrant, often ugly life' - Jennifer Reese, New York Times
'Steamy and atmospheric... a great gift of a novel' - Dan Fesperman, author of Safe Houses
'Jurjevics brings the heat, the smells and the corruption vividly to life... masterfully pulled together' - Sara Paretsky, author of Dead Land
'Juris Jurjevics has brilliantly accomplished [the] seamless combining of a genre form with the deep resonance of literary art' - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
'Jurjevics, himself a Vietnam veteran, is best when describing the details of daily life during war' - Publishers Weekly