Killer's Gift

by Hugo W. Matson



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 9/30/2000

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 276
ISBN : 9780738817583
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 276
ISBN : 9780738817590

About the Book

Leonard Grissom, once a streetwise kid out of Detroit, is content. He has it made. A beautiful home in the suburbs of Newburgh, New York and a lovely wife despite the faded scar permanently etched into her cheek. Leonard has only has a couple of hours before he has to drive to the Ramapo service area on the New York State Thruway and kill Nate Whelan, a land developer from Crescent Hills, New York

Leonard discovers his calling when he volunteers to crawl into the tunnel after the Viet Cong while on a search and destroy mission in Vietnam. Killing isnt a matter of conscience for him but a matter of craft. He discovers something for which he is exceptionally suited. He is not constrained by fear. He kills three VC on his first mission as a tunnel rat. He is authorized to kill the enemy, and he does it cleanly and without remorse. Its not the same with the two black GIs who raped and cut Mickey. Messed her up inisde and slashed her face.

Leonard met Mickey on a three-day pass in Saigon, in a bar just off Tu Do Street. Mickey, or Miko, works for Sarge, Master Sergeant Salvatore Perrino. Sarge is on his fifth tour in Nam. He and Colonel Dao, a South Vietnamese Army Officer, frozen by the system in rank and status, are partners in several bars. Sarge doesnt understand why Leonard must locate the GIs who cut Mickey. After all business is business and having a whore cut up is the price of doing business. With the help of Richard, a black NCO, Leonard locates the two assailants in the Little Harlem bar. Black turf. Leonard wastes one of the GIs in the head as he finishes relieving himself and takes out the other in the ensuing uproar caused by the discovery of the body in the toilet.

Sal is impressed because killing doesnt seem to bother Leonard and because he had disfigured one GI just as Mickey had been disfigured. Sal makes a deal with Leonard after he goes on R&R with Mickey to Vung Tau on the coast. Leonard is in love with Mickey and will do anything for her. Sal wants him to kill his partner, Colonel Dao, because he suspects that Dao intends to kill him. In return, Sarge will get Mickey out of Vietnam. Leonard is successful. After returning to his unit, Leonard steps on a mine. Cory Masterson, his platoon sergeant whom Leonard has come to respect is the last person he see before being loaded on the medevac for evacuation to the rear.

After months in the hospital, Sarge tracks Leonard down and reminds him of the deal. He has set Mickey up in a flat in the Bronx. Stepping out of a taxi on his arrival at his new home, Leonard is confronted by three teenage hoodlums who begin hasseling him. He forces the leader to back off with the quick action of his knife, but several weeks later they retaliate. The arrival of the police save him. After several weeks in the hospital, Leonard, in the guise of a derelict, tracks down the teenagers and kills them. Sal is upset because he has a transaction to be fulfilled and Leonard has been out of touch. The assistant district attorney in another borough intends to run against the incumbenmt DA who is backed by mob money. Sal sees this as an opportunity to move up in the mob heirarchy if he can get rid of the ADA

Leonard completes the contract even though he doesnt kill the ADA. Instead he kills the ADAs lover and comes away with an album of picture of the two men in compromising poses. Leonard becomes Sals ghost killer, filling contracts for Sal on behalf of the family. In the meantime Mickey persuades Leonard that they must do something to help themselves if they are to leave the tenements in the Bronx. Both of them begin to work to change their image from ignorant minimum-wage wannabes to young people with a veneer of culture by getting an education and looking beyond their squalid life in the slums. Leonard has also begun taping all his conversations with Sal as a means of protection for Mickey and himself.

Sal with the help of his brother does move up in the family by elim

About the Author

Hugh Matson retired from the Army in 1972 as a Lieutenant Colonel after twenty-one years. He completed tours of duty in Korea, Germany, Russia and South Vietnam where he earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Paddy Rat award. He was a safety officer in the Philadelphia Water and Health Departments. He retired as a McDonald’s franchisee after twenty years. He is the author of Deep Game, Killer’s Gift, The Sun Never Sets in July, Charlie Robinson’s Revenge, The Drummer Boy, Joe Hakkala’s Luck, Galina, and Just A Life: A Memoir. He lives in Gansevoort, New York with his companion and three cats one of which is a Maine Coon Cat.