Phu Bai: A Vietnam War Story
It is June 1967, and United States military involvement in South Vietnam is nearing its zenith. As the war ratchets up, John Murphy and Charles Van Dyck of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division investigate the murder of an American soldier at Phu Bai. War intrudes as the two investigators build their case against the most likely suspect. But a bizarre twist turns it into an unusual manhunt in the middle of a war zone.
“This fast-paced murder mystery grabs readers early in the story. Filled with suspense throughout, this is a book you will likely to read nonstop.” Read complete review here.
—Lloyd Ferriss, Maine Sunday Telegram
“…its rapid pacing makes for good beach reading.”
“Betit writes vividly …His narrative is crisp, fast-paced and filled with action …”
—William D. Bushnell, The Times Record
“Many readers are bound to enjoy this book for its rapid-fire plot and near-cinematic view of the Vietnam War.”
—Lloyd Ferris, Maine Sunday Telegram
Here's what Maine newspaper columnist George Smith recently said about Phu Bai.
"The pacing and the characters were right on the money and the outcome had some very unpredictable twists and turns. A first-rate read! Very enjoyable. And that is from someone who also writes novels and stories of this type."
—Francis Hamit, Los Angeles, Cal.
"Realism. Suspense. Drama. Humor. They are all there in this hard-to-put down page turner.”
—Judy O'Neal, Sandy Point, Maine
The reader should not be lulled by Betit’s detached and placid tone; for there are many unspoken lessons and numerous crafty diversions tucked into this fast-paced novel.”
—John Holthouse, Gainesville, Fla.
“I never expected to enjoy a book that even had the word war in it, yet I found myself truly caring for the characters, totally immersed in the realistic background and fascinated by the plot twist.”
—Debby Marienhoff, Whitefield, Maine
“I have decided to buy copies for my two children and give them on Father’s Day this year. They have always asked me about by Vietnam tour. The back-drop information in the novel will provide an accurate snapshot of what it was like.”
—Larry Buffaloe, Oakland, Cal.
“Characters are so real you can almost smell them.”
—Bob Brooks, Sandy Point, Maine
“Reading your book put me right back in Vietnam.”
—Tony Albanese, Northville, Mich.
“The murder-mystery itself is well-written with an interesting plot, attention to detail and good character development, never mind the turn in the story that takes the reader and investigator by surprise.
—Sam Bishop, Portland, Maine
Blasts from the Past
Dear Mr. Betit,
I have recently read your book on “Phu Bai”
A well-done job of which (you) should be proud.
By way of background, I arrive at Phu Bai in January 1967 and left in December of that year. Before that, I had been Commanding Officer of Company G, USASATR.
My first assignment at Phu Bai was to lead the mortar platoon (mentioned on Page 55) and after the incident you described. I then commanded Company B. And then I was assigned as the PR&C OIC in the Operations Center.
Your Captain Wolfe (which I assume to be Captain Larry Buffaloe, MP) was spot-on. Larry and I are still in communication after all these years.
— Mark D. Mariska, Colonel, USA (ret)
I got thoroughly caught up in the story and the astonishing detailed account of Phu Bai life as we lived it during ‘67-‘68. It doesn’t seem that long ago. I broke into an audible grin at the account of (Van Dyck) having purchased swimming shorts at the Indian’s gift shop. That was our Mini-Mall.
Phu Bai was a welcomed diversion for a couple of days as I read the book with a relish. I am sure that my children will get the same enjoyment when they receive their copies. It will make talking to them about Vietnam a lot easier for me.
— Larry Buffaloe, Provost Marshal, Phu Bai 67-68