Englischsprachige Literatur

DeMille Nelson

The General`s Daughter

Warner, New York 1992


 It is more than 20 years, since DeMille wrote this novel and you wonder, how much has changes in these two decades.

By now DeMille has written 18 novels, some of them like “The General`s Daughter” becoming bestsellers, but like in this, his fourth novel, the Vietnam War, in which he served as Army lieutenant, seems to be his main subject.

You learn a lot about the US Army, maybe more than you really cared to know and not all of it is good news. The novel deals with the difficulties female soldiers were confronted with in the early stages of a coed army, but I am not sure, if the situation has improved much.

The story develops around murdered Captain Ann Campbell, whose naked body is found on the firing range of Fort Hadley. She is the General´s young daughter. Paul Brenner, an undercover agent of the CID, the elite investigative unit of the army, is asked to lead the investigation, together with rape specialist Cynthia Sunhill.

They were lovers two years ago, but now have an uneasy relationship which has interesting potential. The military personnel does everything to cover up whatever connects them to Ann Campbell, but Brenner, like DeMille, served in Vietnam and does not give up easily.

It turns out, that Ann Campbell was sexually involved with almost every high ranking member of the military and consequently there are plenty of suspects. And DeMille can unfold all sorts of juicy details of sex and crime, thus making sure this novel will be a success. Of course his intentions are totally pure as he only  wants to expose the tragic consequences rape has for women.

DeMille is a master of the ironic dialoge, often leaving the important message unsaid but clear for the reader. I do have to read one of his latest books to see, if he still has his sharp wit and eye.