"A riveting journey into the perils of war and the darkness of the human heart – stylish and provocative." – Tara Janzen, New York Times bestselling author
“A spellbinding adventure into war and the minds of men pulled by the gravity of darkness and the transcendent goodness found through roaming the fields of friendship.”
– Steven V. Smith, co-founder Vipassana Hawaii and The MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects, Burma
“The characters are brought to life and after an action packed journey you will not want to let them go.”
– Cassandra M’s Place
“Make sure you have some time to spend because you won’t want to put it down until you turn the last page.”
– Book Bug
This wasn't supposed to be Israel Moskowitz's war. What country in its right mind would draft a child psychiatrist fresh out of his residency from Columbia University Med School and send him to Vietnam in 1969? But Izzy was here for the duration: three-sixty-four and a wake-up. A year that would change everything.
Assigned to the 99KO, the psychiatric unit of the 8th Field Hospital in sultry Nha Trang, Izzy attempts to use his skills in ways he never could have imagined; not to heal, but to get boys back onto the field of battle. A circle of compatriots soon grows around him – Gregg, the surfer dude turned psychologist; Rick, the tough-as-nails Special Ops commando; J.D., a man of many guises and even more secrets; Margie, the gorgeous, relentless head psychiatric nurse; Kate, the stunning thrill-seeker with a taste for the illicit; Nikki, the endearing, incongruously sweet Red Cross dolly. As their relationships weave and intertwine, the face of Vietnam evolves for Izzy.
But nothing will turn his world upside down – and redefine the nature of war to him – like the mission on which he finds himself an unwilling participant. Someone is massacring soldiers in unthinkable ways with the goal of demoralizing via terror, and Izzy needs to be part of the team tracking down the killer. Before he'd come to Vietnam, Izzy had never heard the term "ghost soldier." Now one might dictate what remains of his life.
Written with the verisimilitude only possible from someone who has been there, THERE WILL BE KILLING is an unforgettable work of fiction brimming with horror and humanity.
“Spooky. Scary. Beautifully written. There Will Be Killing draws you in and won’t let you go.” – Walt’s Thoughts
JOHN L. HART, Ph.D. has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than forty years, starting in Vietnam where he was a psychology specialist, then studying with James Hillman and receiving his doctorate from the University of Southern California.
OLIVIA RUPPRECHT (aka Mallory Rush) is an award-winning, best-selling author who began her career as a novelist with Bantam Books in 1989. Together, they create stories that are visceral in their experience and infinitely relatable in their humanity. There Will Be Killing is their first collaboration, and they are working hard right now on their second.
"There Will Be Killing is mesmerizing...a chilling and astonishing novel by authors who know their way around a story.” – Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author of The Language of Silence
From There Will Be Killing:
It was shortly after dawn, a brilliant clear day, and yet Israel Moskowitz could only wonder what he had done to land in the hot stinking bowels of a dead animal. Sure, the charter TWA flight from the states to the Tan Son Nhut Air Base had been pleasant enough, but from there he had been shuttled onto a no-frills military transport and disgorged here. A tarmac within spitting distance of the South China Sea where he stood sucker-punched by what had to be one hundred and fifteen degrees of scorch and simmer heat spiked with ninety-nine percent humidity.
Something had gone terribly wrong.
For twenty-nine years, the cosmic planes of destiny had been in perfect alignment with the whole summa cum laude package of what had been Israel Moskowitz’s preordained right to a glorious, successful life. Sweaty, steaming stench and rot and rice paddies had not been part of the deal.
Yes, the war was escalating. But what country in its right mind would draft a child psychiatrist fresh out of his residency from Columbia University Med School and send him to Vietnam? He’d been told not to worry, the situation was a screw up and would get fixed. His father had contacts in high places and favors to cash in, namely with New York’s 2nd congressional district’s highest elected official. Israel could still hear Congressman Atkinson’s assurances: At worst, you will be serving your obligation to your country at an army hospital child guidance clinic in Washington, D.C. You’ll love being in the nation’s capital, in the heart of the action, so to speak.
Oh, he was in the heart of the action all right. Only it was in the war ravaged armpit of Southeast Asia, a mere 8,761 miles from D.C.
Now Israel Moskowitz, with his brilliant MD in child psychiatry, was in some very deep shit. Heat radiated up through the soles of his boots and beat down on his head, doing its best to turn him into a melted puddle of nothing but a fifty pound duffel bag and the fogged up horn-rimmed glasses that kept sliding down his distinctively Jewish nose.
Some fellow psych officer was supposed to meet him here but hadn’t shown up yet. So Israel shuffled forward, wondering if he could make it to the nearest building before he passed out—or, threw up. Ever since opening the mailbox to find a REPORT FOR DUTY notice instead of brochures for a honeymoon in Spain, he had battled the threat of nausea. Even worse was the slight but deeply troubling tremor he had recently developed in his once steady hands.
Israel sucked in a deep breath that felt like swallowing a soaked pillow, shoved up his horn rims, and was re-hoisting his duffel, when a jeep rounded the corner and came to a rubber-burning halt a few feet away.
The sandaled feet that swung out belonged to a male about his own age and pinch above average height, but their similarities stopped there. No way had this guy spent a Saturday studying the Torah or living in the shadow of skyscrapers. Dressed in surfer shorts and a faded USC Trojans Tennis Dept. tee, a booney hat topped off sun bleached hair. Athletic build; all-American good looks. He should have been selling ad copy for Coppertone.
“Captain Moskowitz? Israel Moskowitz?” A lazy good vibrations smile and a tip of the hat to Israel’s nod. “I’m Gregg. Captain Gregg Kelly, clinical psychologist at the 99KO.”
Israel was immediately struck by two things: He had never before heard such a beautiful voice emerge from a woman or a man. And: “You, uh. . .you don’t look like you belong here.”
Gregg threw back his head and let out a big belly laugh, so infectious that Israel smiled. It had been awhile.
“And you do?” Gregg’s eyes were a deep blue. They sparkled like the waves he probably caught on a surfboard. “Hell man, none of us belong here. We’re all just counting our days.”
“Until you go home.”
“How many do you have?”
“One-twenty-six and a wake up,” no pause. “Less than a month and I’m hitting the magic number.”
“What number is that?”
“Ninety-nine. Two-digit midget. If anyone asks, you’re counting down as of today from three-sixty-four.”
“Three. Sixty. Four.” His voice a croak, Israel couldn’t fathom spending three hundred and sixty-four days and nights in this hell hole. Yet Gregg had somehow gotten this far and still seemed mentally sound. At least he had maintained the ability to laugh. And his hands weren’t shaking as they reached for the duffel bag that had dropped to Israel’s feet.
“Hop in and we’ll drop off your stuff at the officers’ quarters before I take you to meet Lieutenant Colonel Kohn and the rest of the crew.”
Gregg no sooner hit the gas than it seemed he was pointing out the 8th Field Hospital compound where their psychiatric unit—the 99KO— was located amidst a small grid of wood framed buildings surrounded by high green walls of sandbags. A few more turns outside the hospital compound and Gregg was pulling up to an old villa that could have come out of Les Misérables, with its cracked stucco walls covered in wild bougainvillea, the psychedelic color of Tang. In short, Israel had his new room, up on the second floor next to Gregg’s, and across from a shared bathroom, where Gregg was taking a quick shower.
Before Israel could switch into a fresh shirt or peel off the sweat soaked underwear that clung to his nuts that were itching like crazy, another voice called from below:
“Hello! Anybody here?”
Because the other medical officers who lived at the villa were already at the unit, Israel forced himself to emerge from the privacy of his room—a room equipped with the cooling breeze of an overhead fan.
“Up here,” he called back, pausing at the top of the stairs.
There was something he couldn’t explain, something instinctive that made him want to keep his distance from anyone who projected…Israel wasn’t sure what the guy was projecting but even with a flight of stairs between them he gave off a vibe like a switchblade stashed inside a tuxedo.
Or in this case, a crisp, laundered Tiger camo shirt emblazoned with whatever insignia gave him the latitude to wear nonissue silver bracelets on one dark arm. And, what looked like some skin damage on the other; aviator shades pushed over a widow’s peak, hair straight and black as a raven’s wing. He smiled to reveal even, white teeth as he bounded up the stairs with a duffel bag in each hand and a rucksack on his back.
Up close, too close, Israel could not see a single bead of sweat pop from a single pore of his smooth, olive skin from the exertion. Penetrating eyes locked on Israel like radar zooming in on a target. Those eyes, a 7up bottle green, were made even more striking by their slight almond shape, suggesting the new house guest had inherited some exotic DNA. But the uniform, nose, and cheekbones that could have been engineered by NASA all coincided with a pitch-perfect voice that could have come from Anywhere, USA.
“Let me guess, you’re the other new shrink.” His duffels landed with a clank and a thud. The right hand he extended sported an expensive looking watch, and those were definitely scars, not only on his right arm but also the left. There was also a fine line of white scar tissue that ran from below his left ear and disappeared into a black T-shirt beneath the jungle fatigues.
As for his rank, the insignia declared him a major and, therefore, a senior officer who was offering a handshake instead of a salute after making a mockery of professional protocol by referring to them both as “shrinks.”
Israel awkwardly cleared his throat. Swiped his sweaty palm on his sweaty jungle fatigues and hesitantly accepted the handshake.
“Israel Moskowitz, MD Columbia University. Three hundred and sixty four days.”
The other new shrink’s hand was cool, dry, and just the right firmness in grip as he responded, “J.D. Mikel. Call me J.D. I was going to be the new shrink in Da Nang, but got sent here on special duty instead. Great to meet you, Izzy.”