Picks and Pans Review: Full Dress Gray

UPDATED 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Lucian K. Truscott IV

Beach book of the week

Ry Slaight can't get near the United States Military Academy without setting off social land mines. In West Point alumnus Truscott's bestselling 1979 whodunit, Dress Gray, Slaight was a cadet who solved the murder of a gay classmate. This time he's the Point's Superintendent, a post-Vietnam three-star general who must deal with the suspicious death of a female cadet. Slaight has more to deal with than crime, though. The naked ambition of a staff member threatens the general's career, and his daughter Jacey, a West Point senior, is brutally attacked when she too investigates the death of her classmate. And if that weren't enough to keep things churning, Slaight also must fend off a malicious congressman who is out to close down the Academy. Truscott (whose grandfather Lucian K. Truscott Jr. was one of America's leading generals in World War II) offers up a vivid portrait of today's officer corps and a somewhat windy defense of the infantry. And, as he has in four previous novels, he keeps readers zeroed in on the action. (Morrow, $25)

Bottom Line: A bayonet-sharp riff on murder—and women in the military

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