Read Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille Online


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWith nearly 50 million books sold worldwide, Nelson DeMille is "a true master." - Dan BrownHe is a good man, a brilliant corporate executive, an honest, handsome family man admired by men and desired by women. But sixteen years ago Ben Tyson was a lieutenant in Vietnam.There, in 1968, the men under his command committed a murderous atrocity-and togNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWith nearly 50 million books sold worldwide, Nelson DeMille is "a true master." - Dan BrownHe is a good man, a brilliant corporate executive, an honest, handsome family man admired by men and desired by women. But sixteen years ago Ben Tyson was a lieutenant in Vietnam.There, in 1968, the men under his command committed a murderous atrocity-and together swore never to tell the world what they had done. Not the press, army justice, and the events he tried to forget have caught up with Ben Tyson. His family, his career, and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance. And only one woman can reveal the truth of his past -- and set him free....

Title : Word of Honor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446301589
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 738 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Word of Honor Reviews

  • Andrew Smith
    2019-03-08 09:05

    Nelson DeMille tends to produce long books (this one is nearly 900 pages) and that can feel a little intimidating. Yet once into the narrative I always feel the same: amused by a wise-cracking lead character, enthralled by a compelling storyline and, in due course, wishing the book were even longer. Yes, he can sometimes provide a little too much detail, but this minor niggle is more than compensated for by his ability to truly bring his characters to life, deliver brilliant dialogue and to unerringly serve up an interesting, and often thought provoking, tale. Having served as a platoon leader in Vietnam he is well placed to present this story of Ben Tyson, a New York based WASP and former serving lieutenant in the self same war. Commuting to work one day an acquaintance brings to his attention a reference in a new non-fiction book concerning an atrocity committed some 18 years ago. A hospital building was destroyed and a hundred or more doctors nurses and patients were killed. Tyson is named as the officer leading the party who committed the act.Much time is spent in explaining the legal position concerning civilians who once served in the army and what legal remedies are available to address alleged war crimes long after the event. But the major focus is on the mental impacts on Tyson as he recalls the event and struggles with his own feelings about it as well as the growing pressures on him resulting from the disclosure. Also the impacts on his family, his job and the reactions of the people he knows and of strangers who become aware of the event.As the story unfolds we gradually gain more insight into what happened on that fateful day. We learn of the pressures facing a group of soldiers and of the interactions Tyson has with individuals as the tragic event grows ever closer. What DeMille does so well here is mix humour with the inevitable horror of the events. Tyson reminded me a lot of another of the author’s characters, John Sutter who features in The Gold Coast and The Gate House. I can't help thinking they are both, to some extent, a reflection of DeMille himself. What results is a gripping legal thriller that presents what feels like a fair minded appraisal of the awful consequences that can transpire when a highly stressed, battle weary group of soldiers are suddenly presented with the right (or wrong!) set of circumstances. I rooted for Tyson throughout but it wouldn't be fair to disclose his fate – you’ll just have to read the book yourself. And if it sounds like your kind of story then trust me and don't be put of by the imposing length of the tale.

  • Melodie
    2019-02-20 16:22

    Ben Tyson thought that Viet Nam and all it's death and destruction was left far behind. He did his time and managed to come home in one piece. He built a good life with all the requisite trappings of success. And then it all comes tumbling down around him. A book is published that outlines a massacre involving the inhabitants of a Vietnamese hospital including women,children and medical staff. And the book points the finger at Ben Tyson and the squad he led. In a short amount of time, Ben finds himself without a job, his marriage on shaky ground and pariah in his country club society.Someone has to pay for the atrocities committed in war time. And that's Ben. To his credit, Ben knows that there is a price to be paid for his actions and inaction in Viet Nam. And his inner struggle along with his legal war is clearly brought out. There are no heroes or innocents in this book. Everything and everyone is painted in varying shades of gray.That was the Viet Nam war.Right and wrong comingled every second of every day we were there. And some men left too long in the miasma of war with at best muddled leadership could and did snap like twigs. The author does a great job shining a light in the dark corners of those minds that fought and led the Viet Nam war. I found the darkest and most culpable minds were those of the Army generals and members of Congress who never did and never would take responsibility for that war.

  • Heather
    2019-03-17 11:30

    I am a HUGE Nelson DeMille fan and this book is up there with my favorites. Once again in DeMille style, he touches down close to home for me in Garden City and Sag Harbor, two towns on Long Island I know quite well. Being that I was born in 1982, I never really knew much about Vietnam. My dad was too young to be drafted and it was only after the draft ended that he turned 18 and went to college instead of enlisting. But, my friend's fathers who fought in that war usually have the same response to questions -- they don't talk about it because they are too scarred, or simply can't talk about it because of activities they were engaged in-- two of my friends fathers were Green Berets, so I can only imagine. I thought they wouldn't discuss it because they saw so many of their friends die. That's part of it, sure, but now I know it's just the tip of the iceberg. They had their pain of loss, and they had their monstrous rage in return, and this book examines how and why one could possibly justify mass crimes of passion. I understand now why they just can't talk about it. Everyone has their secrets and I have a better understanding of the time and the place and the grisly effects of war on youth and humanity as a whole. Before reading this book, sadly, most of my knowledge of Vietnam has come from Forrest Gump - no kidding. I am really into history, but this was just a war era I didn't have prior exposure to and I am glad I read this and know more. Word of Honor is a story of brotherhood and betrayal. This book is provacative, a thrilling page-turner, completely twisted, and I honestly didn't know what to expect for the outcome until the final page. READ IT.

  • Corey
    2019-03-09 15:35

    I've been a HUGE FAN of Nelson DeMille and his books since being introduced to the John Corey series, and since reading those I've read his stand-alones, and I think Word of Honor is his BEST one YET!!! I was compelled right on the first page and right to the last page I was just nervously biting my nails waiting for the climax! By the end I was physically drained, HAHA!Word of Honor introduces us to Ben Tyson, a former Lieutenant Soldier in Vietnam, who, 20 years later is living a normal day-to-day life, married to his beautiful wife Marcy, with his son David. Until one day, Tyson's past has come back to haunt him, a day he swore to forget and to never repeat to anyone, not even his family. A day in Vietnam when men under Tyson's command committed a murderous crime, then they covered it up and never spoke of it again. Now years later the press, and the army have caught up with Tyson. Now Tyson's family, career and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance. Tyson is put on trial by the Military who believe he is guilty and want him held accountable, so Tyson hires defense attorney Vincent Corva to defend him in the trial. I loved how the 3rd quarter of the book took place in a courtroom, to me it felt like I was watching the film A Few Good Men, one of my favorite films, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! And I love how the story, even though it doesn't fully focus on the conflict of Vietnam it does focus a lot on the crime that Tyson's men committed during the conflict. And fun fact, I read on the back of my copy of the book that DeMille is a former US Army Lieutenant who served in Vietnam, which I'm guessing gave him the idea for this book. And I've seen many of the Vietnam Motion Pictures, such as Apocalypse Now, Platoon, The Deer Hunter, We Were Soldiers, and many others! A great book by a great writer, great story, and great characters!!

  • Ben Boulden
    2019-03-13 16:27

    WORD OF HONOR reads like The Caine Mutiny as a Vietnam story. Ben Tyson is accused of murder for a massacre occurring in a hospital during the Tet offensive, February 1968, eighteen years after it happened. As an officer Tyson is the only member of the platoon--Alpha Company of the 7th Cavalry--that can be tried for the crime and the US Army opens a court-martial for murder. DeMille reveals the massacre details slowly, ratcheting the tension tighter and tighter. The outcome is little surprise, but it ends exactly how it should and even more importantly the novel says something about humanity and war, and America's Vietnam War.

  • Tim
    2019-03-04 17:12

    This is a good definition of a pointless story. 0 of 10 stars

  • Chuck
    2019-03-18 16:08

    This is my all time favorite Nelson DeMille book, which is saying a lot because a) I really like DeMille and b) I am a huge fan of a numbeirr of his books. So saying this is my fave of his is high praise indeed.Written and set in the mid 80s, the book follows uthe fortunes of Ben Tyson, a successful executive in the aerospace industry who is married, has a nearly grown son, and has put the Vietnam War behind him. However, a book has appeared that allages that the platoon he commanded in Hue in 1968 is responsible for a brutal atrocity--the killing of over 100 civilians. As the only officer accused of being present at the killings, he is the only member of the platoon who can be brought back on active duty (the Army can't lay a hand on a discharged enlisted man). And so much time has passed that the only crime Ben can be charged with is capital murder, the only crime for which there is no statute of limitations. And Ben is the only person mentioned by name in the book, even though he is not accused of directly participating in the killing himself. But miltary officers are legally responsible for the actions of their men, so, if there was murder, he is legally responsible in the eyes of military justice.A number of mysteries unfold. What happened in Hue? Who is out to get Ben? What has happened to the eyewitnesses? Does the government want them found.As the story unfolds, two things become clear. One, regardless of the outcome of the trial, Ben's life will never be the same again. And two, it becomes clear that Ben is not trying to avoid trouble or shirk any resposibility--he has kept his word of honor, and will continue to do so, though the cost be high.Great book. I've read it twice and have reread the last several chapters more often than that.

  • Donna Antaramian
    2019-02-21 14:10

    Word of HonorI have had this audio book since 2009 and finally made myself listen to it. I now ask myself why I waited so long. DeMille has always been a favorite author, my favorite (until now) was The General’s Daughter. This is no short listen .. some 28 hours of which I had a hard time putting it down. The story take place some 18 years after Ben Tyson has returned from Vietnam, a man with a comfortable job in NY, a family out in the 'burbs and a sense of honor. Someone has written a bestselling book about the carnage at Hue. The author's two witnesses have made Ben Tyson the guilty party of allowing his platoon to massacre all in a French hospital during the war – now the government plans to make him their scape goat. DeMille slowly builds the anxiety with Tyson’s wife, his lawyer, his reunions with his men, the author and finally the court-martial trial. As far as narration – Scott Brick does a superb job.

  • Eric_W
    2019-02-20 15:27

    Finished. Totally excellent.I'm about half way through and I have to say I suspect this may be the best DeMille I have read. I believe that DeMille was an infantry Lt. in Vietnam and it shows. I've read a lot of Vietnam books and I think this one captures the impact on the soldiers and the internal conflicts many of them suffered as well or better than any of the others. The scene where Tyson "confronts" the author of the book that reveals the details of the massacre is a classic. The inner turmoil of both men is apparent. I'll never look at Calley and My Lai in quite the same way again. DeMille novelistically raises many important issues with regard to war crimes and the assignment of blame.UPDATE: The issue of command culpability has intrigued me for years and is certainly of paramount importance given our history with the Nuremberg trials, Vietnam, and now Iraq. It was our moral position at Nuremberg that the higher command had to be accountable for their orders and actions. We went after the top guys. We executed top commanders even though, in many cases, they were totally unaware of the specific actions of those under their command. (Check out who got the axe for Abu Ghraib.) Japan was castigated for failures to follow the Geneva Convention even though they were not signatories. (The Emperor had indicated , however, they no longer needed to be bound by the Hague Convention in the treatment of Chinese prisoners.) Similarly, Bush's AG wrote an opinion with the concurrence of Cheney that the Geneva Convention did not apply in the case of the the prisoners at Gitmo. I'm not arguing the validity of these decisions (although you can guess where I stand, those idiots) but given our positions at Nuremberg and public posturing we need to be very careful.Of course, it's the winner of every war who writes history and makes the rules. We need to be mindful of how those rules may be applied in the future as we may not always be the winner and we may not always be innocent, regardless of how we may view our own actions.

  • Malcolm
    2019-03-21 10:08

    I like Nelson DeMille. He writes the way I fix things around the house -- methodically -- takes his time -- and doesn't have to repeat himself.This book is a reflection on Vietnam, as written by a Vietnam Vet himself.It's a retrospective look, so it's set in semi-modern era (80's maybe? Folks still smoke indoors)... and looks back at things that happened in the past -- doing so in an intelligent and interesting way.It's really two stories wrapped around each other. The retelling of Vietnam, and the character development of the main protagonist.I like this book. If you want to read about Vietnam, through the eyes of someone who was there, but without dramatic levels of blood and guts -- this is a good book for you.

  • Iain Hamill
    2019-02-26 16:05

    DeMille can certainly string a few sentences together. Having an interest in the wider culpability issues raised by My Lai and similar instances, I found his treatment thorough and provocative. He creates very genuine and consistent characters and some of the action sequences are second to none. (Not many authors in my opinion are able to combine the 750-pages-in-2-days style readability with deeper issues that you find yourself thinking about for days/weeks after.) I think his novels wouldn't lose anything though if some of the more base scenes were removed. They seem almost like a later addition to tick a romance box that would be fine left unticked!

  • David N
    2019-03-19 14:06

    Possibly my favorite courtroom drama of all time.

  • Larry Crane
    2019-02-20 10:09

    Reading the other reviews of Word of Honor I see that most people who did not go to Vietnam as a serviceman conclude that most of those who did go experienced the very worst of that chapter of our history, the period after 1968 or so when the people back home had turned against the war and against those who were fighting it, and when drugs and cynicism among the troops was rampant. It's a skewed perspective. Most of the people who spent time in VN in the service don't talk much about it because very few people are interested enough to hear about a war experience that doesn't conform to their "Apocalypse Now" , "Platoon", or "Forest Gump" influenced rendition.Demille sticks to a calm, detached narrative that reveals the truth about the massacre in Hue. He clearly enjoys the intricasies of civilian and military law, sometimes to excess. Veterans could quibble about some details. But, Word of Honor captures the ambiguity and sense of failure that surrounds the Vietnam War.

  • Marsha Thompson
    2019-03-07 15:16

    My scale is 1 - didn't like2 - Ok3 - Enjoyed4 - Would see the movie5 - would read again.This book got a 2. I thought the ending was somewhat anticlimactic. It took a long time to tell the story and I'm not sure the characters are any better off than they were before the events of the book. That was probably the intent that nobody wins at war, but it lead me to believe that the lead character has something up his sleeve to reveal about his nemeses. What he revealed had been foretold and it was a bad secret but one you already assumed.If you like military stories about the atrocities of Vietnam, this wasn't a bad one. Not really my cup of tea. I picked it up because I was interested in the Author. I'll read something else of his (not all are war stories)

  • Jeanette
    2019-03-14 11:33

    HOLY CRAP!! I didn't expect this book to make me bawl like a baby, but it did! Nelson DeMille produced his magnum opus his first time out. This story is every bit as relevant today as it was when it was first published. How I wish that were not so. But war will always be with us, and the ethical questions that accompany it will always plague us. :(

  • George Breitler
    2019-02-20 13:25

    This was my favorite of all of Nelson's books. It resonated strongly with me because I too served near Hue, but two years after the timeline of his story. In this book, Nelson revealed stories that were true, but are best forgotten. War is an ugly affair. The average participant on the American side was twenty years old. Some bad things were done by stressed out kids on occasions, but by and large, the cruel things the soldier (kids) had to process were the things done to civilians by the enemy. This book is a cathartic experience for any Vietnam combat veteran who reads it:

  • Nina
    2019-02-27 17:34

    Excellent introduction to military justice and courts martial, which are so different from civil justice. The lead character is charged with murder for a My Lai-type massacre at a hospital 18 years after leaving Viet Nam. No one disputes that he didn't kill anyone himself, but he was the lieutenant in charge of troops that committed the murders, and under military law, that makes him the guilty party, not them, if he didn't take steps to stop them. Uncovering all the evidence is fascinating. I had to take the book down one star, however, because I just didn't LIKE the character. I kept picturing him in my mind as Don Draper because he was out of that mold: chain smoking, drinking at all hours of the day, appraising every women he sees in terms of whether she'd be desirable to him, and acting like a general prick to everybody, even those trying to help him.

  • Marlene
    2019-03-21 16:07

    When I first saw that this book was about Vietnam, I wasn't sure I wanted to read another book about the war. But it is not really about Vietnam, not directly. It is about Lieutenant Ben Tyson, a product of Vietnam. A man who had been keeping a secret for 18 years about a massacre that had happened; that he and his men had sworn to keep secret. But someone wrote a book and one of the men gave up information. The Army cannot touch civilians, but Ben Tyson, being an officer, was able to be recalled back into the Army which allowed them to conduct an investigation into his own culpability in the massacre. The author must also be a writer for Law and Order as Ben Tyson and his lawyer were both full of sarcastic humor. In the beginning, I merely enjoyed the book, reading about Tyson and his family and his worries about what might happen now that this book was out. By the middle of the book, I was getting to the point where I could not put it down. Near the end, I had a hard time keeping myself from skipping to the back to see how it ended. I was on pins and needles.Anyone who fought in Vietnam would appreciate this book in a way that I can't because I wasn't there. The author, by the way, did serve as a lieutenant in Vietnam. Even without that background,I found this to be a very exciting and moving book.

  • John
    2019-02-23 12:26

    I rarely read books about Vietnam. Although this book isn't exactly about the war, none the less, it contains the things about the Vietnam War that make me shy away. For years I felt very guilty that I had not been ordered to serve there. I knew, had I gone, I would not have come back. I only missed going by a year or so. Not my choice, not that I wanted to go because I didn't. The army didn't send me nor did it send numerous West Point graduates in my Infantry Basic Course class. I lost that attitude over time and read "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" and saw "Full Metal Jacket". I was sad through most of this book. I could understand the protagonist and his dilemma and decisions. But I knew the Army too and understood their problem. In the end, justice is served but it took me on a tearful trip at times. DeMille never let's his readers down and didn't let me down with this book but I don't want to reread it.

  • Alan
    2019-03-18 11:15

    I really enjoyed this book. It works on many levels: great dialogue, complex characters, fascinating story and a great climax. Gives the reader a palpable sense of what it was like to be an American soldier in the Vietnam war in which they never really knew who might turn out to be the enemy or where they might turn up. The relentless tension this creates amongst the Americans leads them to commit a tragic act that doesn't become public knowledge until 17 years after the war. The book is about the court martial that results, but also about the incident itself, the events that lead to it and the relationship between the man on trial, Ben Tyson, and his men, his family, his lawyer and one of the prosecutors.The book borrows liberally from the play/movie Rashomon, to the extent that it is cited by one of the characters in the book, but the device used in Rashomon really works here. This is a powerful, moving book.

  • Tim Corke
    2019-02-26 14:07

    Completely and utterly exhausted and exhilarated after completing Word of Honour at 2am but it's definitely been worth it. I started this lengthy novel struggling but it picks you up and smashes you into a gritty military legal battle that fills you with anger, disbelief and bewilderment at the shocking situations Lt Tyson endures.At times you question and battle with the morality and human scars created by warfare during the Vietnam war, the strangulation, resentment and love experienced in his family life and the strict code of conduct of the US Army justice system. It's a big bad rollercoaster ride that thrills and scares you one minute that then fills you with warming and human emotion that enlightens and saddens you the next. It also educates and teaches valuable lessons about a difficult modern war environment and the impacts it has on society.I could go on but just find a copy and read it for yourself..I

  • Michael
    2019-02-22 12:32

    Lt. Ben Tyson is a good teacher and leader of men in Viet Nam.During the fierce fighting around the Tet Offensive, there is an incident at a civilian hospital where his men kill a number of civilians and vow never to talk about it.Years later, Tyson is an established businessman and he's called back to active duty to face a military tribal for misconduct.DeMille tells a good story as Tyson's men are being killed and finally reach the breaking point and shoot back. Now it seems that he has to pay for their actions.Ben continues to show his honor as the case comes to trial and we see the result on his family as his son, a senior in high school, has to take abuse because of Ben.I'm a Vietnam era military man who spent my time in the U.S. but enjoyed this story and what seemed the reality of the story and it's effects on Ben and the surviving men in his military unit

  • Raymond
    2019-03-20 10:06

    I thoroughly enjoyed this stirring read about a riveting atrocities trial of an US Army lieutenant who served in Vietnam. The development of all of the character is well done and believable. I was introduced to the complexities of the Universal Code of Military Justice while in training at Bainbridge Air force Base in Georgia. While a newly married with a infant girl and living In Tacoma, Washington, I was inconveniently assigned to a distant reserve unit North of Seattle. I fortunately obtained a transfer to a unit at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma where I was working as a civilian. During that Cuba Missile Incident, my former unit was called into active duty and I narrowly missed a similar inconvenience as the Lieutenant in this novel - though I certainly would have not had any of the extensive turmoil as detailed by DeMille!

  • Chad
    2019-03-19 16:13

    Nelson DeMille – Word of Honor: New York Times Bestselling author Nelson DeMille has written a novel of epic scope, Word of Honor is one completely gripping story about what will happen to this haunted, guilt-ridden, essentially honorable man as his life and loved ones are massacred. Ben Tyson, a lifetime ago was a Lieutenant in Vietnam, under his command his soldiers committed a murderous atrocity-now his career, his family, and his personal sense of honor hang in the balance. DeMille’s Word of Honor is an outstanding, intriguing and entertaining novel. He has done a superb job on this novel, great modern popular fiction, a writer to enjoy time and again! DeMille is an author of major standing.

  • Dennis D.
    2019-03-02 11:15

    This is one of my favoriteNelson DeMille novels, and in my opinion, one of his most literary.Set in the early- to-mid- 1980s, Vietnam War vet Ben Tyson is a successful and seemingly-respectable corporate middle-management type who is suddenly ‘outed’ in a tell-all book as the officer responsible for a My Lai-type atrocity. Up until this point, this war crime had been covered up, and no one had ever been held accountable. Tyson’s life is thrown into chaos as the U. S. government reactivates his military commission solely for the purpose of court-martialing him.The narrative follows Tyson’s court-martial and the events surrounding it, and much of the action takes place via flashback. Well written, with good dialogue, solid, believable characters and plausible situs.

  • John
    2019-03-02 15:26

    An absolute page turner, Word of Honor has all the ingredients of a great fiction novel: relatable characters with substance, a believable plot, simple setting, perfect dialogue and wit. The book deals with a moral issue and approaches this dilemma with no shows both sides. It's been years since I have read a DeMille novel (Spencerville), but I am hooked. I'll read Charm School in a few weeks. Just a tip - this is a big book. I ordered the Trade paper back edition before a cross country flight and had some inconvenience in carrying it but it was worth the trouble. You won't be disappointed.

  • Luke Marusiak
    2019-03-15 12:24

    This is an outstanding book that brings the reader back to divisive times of the Vietnam War and permanent consequences and scars of the warriors involved. This book also forces you the ask the question if there is a statue of limitations on moral failings or if some times and stresses are immune from moral judgement by those who weren't there. The women in the book are sexy and intriguing ... always a plus in a novel! I highly recommend this book.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-24 16:24

    I will not finish this misogynistic book. I'm appalled at DeMille's rough sexual behavior between a wife and husband in this book. I love a great sex scene but the machismo here is disturbing and I won't continue to listen. I really enjoy most DeMille books, but this one is getting one star even without finishing.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-14 13:05

    This was a monster of a book, and when I finished it, I felt a bit emotionally drained, as though I had gone on the journey with these characters. However, I could not put it down, I could not wait for the plot, and the truth, to be revealed, and i felt satisfied at the end. Despite being a very lengthy read, it was very satisfying.

  • Penny Pascoe
    2019-02-22 11:09

    EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT!! I could not stop reading until I found out what was going to happen to this soldier. I love DeMille's writing.