Books: A Dangerous Friend

By Ward Just

Just's 12th novel revisits Vietnam in the mid-1960s, where Sydney Parade, an American sociologist and a decent man with a dented idealism, signs on with a quasi-official mission to buttress the civil government. With the war as distant thunder, Just's tightly drawn characters play out a small, tense drama that foreshadows the tragedy to come. Former journalist Just demonstrates again that fiction still has the authority to tell us how the world works, how good intentions can have bad ends and how men and women can live with the consequences.

--By R.Z. Sheppard

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