Summary and book reviews of The Three-Nine Line by David Freed

The Three-Nine Line

by David Freed

The Three-Nine Line by David Freed X
The Three-Nine Line by David Freed
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2015, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2015, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
James Broderick
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Three American ex-POWs are accused of murdering their former prison guard, and Cordell Logan - pilot, aspiring Buddhist, and former military assassin - is sent to Vietnam to investigate.

More than forty years after their release from the notorious "Hanoi Hilton," three American prisoners of war return to Vietnam to make peace with their most brutal former captor, a guard whom they've dubbed, "Mr. Wonderful." The U.S. State Department hopes reconciliation will help cement a major trade agreement between Washington and the Vietnamese. But when Mr. Wonderful is found murdered, the three ex-POWs are accused of the crime and the multi-billion dollar deal threatens to unravel. Enter pilot, still-aspiring Buddhist, and former military assassin Cordell Logan.

Working with a newly formed covert intelligence unit that answers directly to the White House, Logan is dispatched to Hanoi to identify the real killer as the trade agreement threatens to implode. What he soon uncovers proves to be a vexing and increasingly dangerous mystery. Who really killed the guard and why? Unlocking the answers will test every ounce of Logan's ingenuity and resolve, while risking his life as never before.

Like its three predecessors in the Cordell Logan mystery/thriller series Flat Spin, Fangs Out, and Voodoo Ridge, The Three-Nine Line is a classic, pulse-pounding page-turner. Legions of loyal readers and critics alike, from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal to Noir Journal and the Associated Press, have hailed the series for its taut writing, finely wrought characters, flashes of wry humor, and full throttle pacing. The Three-Nine Line may well be the best yet.

The Three-Nine Line

Two widowed sisters out for their predawn stroll were the first to spot it, floating near the red wooden bridge that led to the island with its ancient temple. They thought it was the rarely seen giant turtle, the one whose sacred ancestors have lived in the lake for a thousand years. But when they made their way excitedly onto the bridge and peered over the hand railing into the dark water, what they saw was not some mythic, oversized reptile. It was a man, arms hovering buoyantly at his sides, his black sport coat humped over his back like a tortoise shell, dead. One of the old women stayed behind while the other hobbled as best she could along the lakeshore to the police substation on Le Thai To Street, a quarter mile away. The two officers on duty were sipping tea from cloisonné cups and smoking Marlboro Lights, engrossed in a television soap opera about sixteenth century Chinese warlords. The woman told them what she'd found and implored them to come...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The background of The Three-Nine Line is Vietnam, but I wish Freed had allowed it to creep a bit more into the foreground. As an award-winning journalist and feature writer, Freed has the trained eye, and ear, to make different places feel different. Nonetheless, The Three-Nine Line is an efficient and satisfying standalone mystery too, with a dollop of political commentary about the Vietnam War to give it some heft and enough red herrings to keep most mystery fans hooked.   (Reviewed by James Broderick).

Full Review (896 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A nifty detective story with juicy writing and a very likable hero.

Booklist
Masquerading as psychologist Dr. Bob Barker, Logan is charged with finding the real killer and keeping the trade agreement alive. That task would seem to require diplomacy, but Logan takes a different tack. An equal-opportunity wiseguy, ready to ridicule whenever an opportunity presents itself, he insults his way to the answers. A nice combination of international intrigue and hard-boiled patter.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Outstanding ... Freed pulls off the remarkable feat of writing an entertaining first-class suspense yarn while addressing serious political and personal issues in an even-handed, informed manner.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Hỏa Lò Prison

Who would have ever guessed that Hỏa Lò, the notorious Vietnamese prison compound derisively dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" would become a tourist attraction? But that's what's happened, and the ironic, even troubling transition from a place of torture to a ticket-selling tourist trap provides the backdrop for David Freed's mystery novel, The Three-Nine Line.

Hỏa Lò Prison in Hanoi The official name of the facility, built by French colonists in the 1890s to house Vietnamese political prisoners, is the Hỏa Lò (which translates as "Fiery Furnace") Prison, and though much of the original prison complex was destroyed in the 1990s to make room for luxury high-rises, the gatehouse has been converted into a museum and some of the detention cells ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Three-Nine Line, try these:

  • The Sympathizer jacket

    The Sympathizer

    by Viet Thanh Nguyen

    Published 2016

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Winner of 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A startling debut novel featuring one of the most remarkable narrators of recent fiction: a conflicted subversive and idealist working as a double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War

  • The Frangipani Hotel jacket

    The Frangipani Hotel

    by Violet Kupersmith

    Published 2015

    About this book

    These stories - based on traditional Vietnamese tales - blends the old world and the new with fantastical, chilling, and original explorations of the ghosts that continue to haunt us: those of the Vietnam War.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Lost Children Archive
    Lost Children Archive
    by Valeria Luiselli
    Lost Children Archive is a feast of language and storytelling that chronicles a family road trip ...
  • Book Jacket: The World According to Fannie Davis
    The World According to Fannie Davis
    by Bridgett M. Davis
    Devoted daughter Bridgett M. Davis was always inspired by her mother Fannie, who provided stability,...
  • Book Jacket: Territory of Light
    Territory of Light
    by Yuko Tsushima
    Set in Tokyo during the late 1970s, Yūko Tsushima's Territory of Light chronicles a year in the...
  • Book Jacket: Unmarriageable
    Unmarriageable
    by Soniah Kamal
    Soniah Kamal makes no secret of the fact that her novel Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen...

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Half-Life of Everything
by Deborah Carol Gang

A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Night Tiger
    by Yangsze Choo

    "Wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore."
    --PW, starred review
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Romantics
    by Tara Conklin

    A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, and the ties that bind us together.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Climate Report

The Climate Report

"The most comprehensive assessment of the effects of climate change on the United States."
–The New York Times

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

B I I T Eye O T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.