Doctor Charles Adams, dental surgeon of Concord, Massachusetts, asks every one to call him "Doc." He is the fairly normal, mildly complex hero of the nine DOC ADAMS mystery adventure yarns by Rick Boyer -- who now lives in my own town of Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Doc's psyche is pulled in three or four different directions at once:
-- He lives the American dream: a moderately interesting, well paying profession; a beautiful wife and two talented nearly grown young sons; good health; love of eating and gourmet cooking; intelligent friends and admirers.
-- But routine bores him. Same old, same old day in, day out and his love life falls off. Doc mopes. He feels sorry for himself.
-- Moe Abramson, Doc's friend and chess opponent, is a saintly Jewish psychiatrist with an office down the hall from Doc. Moe is Doc's better angel, constantly urging him to lose himself in good causes and doing kindnesses for other people.
-- Ex-French Foreign Legionnaire, Lithuanian-born Liatis Roantis appeals to the suppressed "war lover" in Doc Adams. Liatis is Doc's instructor in martial arts. He saved Doc's life once. And now Doc will do anything for him. Roantis calls in the chips in THE DAISY DUCKS. That was the name of a group of eight US armed forces commandos who did deadly work in Cambodia and elsewhere during the Viet-Nam war. Before that Liatis, in the French Foreigh Legion, had surrendered to the VIetnamese at Dien Bien Phu. He had adopted one-year old Danielle Cournot, half-Vietnamese daughter of a fallen French comrade. She was later nicknamed Daisy and became the inspiration for The Daisy Ducks, including becoming their much patroness and shapely tattoos.
Leading the Ducks in Cambodia behind enemy lines, Liatis and his Hispanic deputy Ken Vilarde had acquired a golden statue of the Hindu god Siva and had stashed it in a bank in Hong Kong. One day, in Doc's presence, Liatis is shot by a sniper, his key to the bank vault taken and two days later the statue disappears from the bank. What happened? Who shot Liatis? The tough Lithuanian refuses to suspect a Daisy Duck. Doc is not so sure.
As Liatis recuperates, Doc runs down as many of the surviving Ducks as he can, including making trips to Texas and to the Carolina mountains. He discovers a nest of survivalists in western North Carolina outside Robbinsville, in a well stocked fortress tucked up against the rugged Tennessee border. The next thing he knows, Doc Adams has met the original Daisy, Liatis's adopted daughter. When she is captured by the survivalists, Liatis and two other Daisy Ducks come to Asheville and Robbinsville to rescue Daisy and solve the mystery of the missing statue of Siva.
Less cerebral and Sherlockian than BILLINGSGATE SHOAL, THE WHALE'S FOOTPRINTS and other DOC ADAMS tales, THE DAISY DUCKS is straight shoot 'em up adventure, chases, close calls, mountain ambushes and general mayhem. Good, light, escapist reading. And also a study in wartime comrades' loyalty and disloyalty to one another.
In the end, Doc is spirited away by his new and triumphant comrades in arms towards Fort Bragg. There he received the tattoo of The Daisy Ducks. You decide if he is deep down inside the war lover that he has to be to deserve this honor!