Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book online with others.
Book Review: Finding Lien by Bruce Logan is one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time.
This exciting novel reads like fiction but, unfortunately, is very much based on true events in Vietnam. The story features a Vietnam War veteran who returns to his old battlefields to try to save the life of a granddaughter he didn’t know he had. It all begins when Peter Trutch receives a letter from a 40-something man in Vietnam named Nguyen Le Ngoc, who claims to be Trutch’s biological son. Trutch is taken aback but recognizes that it’s plausible: in 1971 he was on leave in Nha Trang and met woman named Dream. Now Lien—Trutch’s apparent granddaughter—has vanished, and her family fears that she has been abducted into the world of underage sex trafficking. Their hopes are focused on Trutch.
Flying back to Vietnam to help search for her, Trutch faces a harrowing underworld full of “pimps, thugs, mean-looking bouncers and cops blind to the illegal activities raging around them.”
In three interwoven narrative strands, the book tells of Trutch’s journey in search of Lien; of his wife Catherine’s attempts to understand her husband’s secret, and Lien’s own horrifying story. The book is a page turner not unlike those by John Grisham.
Vietnam veteran and humanitarian author Bruce Logan has been familiar with this region all his adult life and describes it knowingly. The author deftly details Lien’s plight. Readers learn of the “rape chambers,” cattle prods, meager food, and regular beatings the kidnapped girls must endure and their constant fear – a fear still real in today’s Asia. A highly recommended SSI Read!
Finding Lien by Bruce Logan
Black Rose Publishing
About Margriet Ruurs
Margriet Ruurs is the author of over 30 books. She runs Between The Covers Booklovers’ B & B on Salt Spring Island. Her newest title is Stepping Stones, A Refugee Family’s Journey published by Orca Book Publishers.