Ben Hunnicutt encounters a bit of war, a bit of peace, a little time in a Japanese Geisha house, a week at an exclusive Alaska fishing lodge, a bit of stumbling around in the mountains, and a very interesting bear.
The fourth book in the Ben Hunnicutt series, “The Last Kill”, Ben has left Alaska and “Operation Washtub” to continue his interrupted journey to the battlefields of Korea. It is 1953; both sides have emerged from a frigid winter of slugging it out on a line near the 38th parallel while endless peace negotiations drone on at a small camp at Panmunjom. Ben sees his fair share of battle, broken by a brief interlude in Japan which plays an important part in his later life.
A wound sends him back to the States just as the war ends in July 1953, and he serves out the remainder of his twenty years never having the good fortune to be again assigned to Alaska. Upon retirement in 1967 he keeps a promise to himself and moves to Anchorage, at last able to explore the state which so fascinated him on his first visit.
In 1972, retired and at leisure, he is mysteriously contacted by an intelligence officer that he befriended while on R & R in Japan during the Korean war. The Vietnam War is in full swing, and the stability of the South Vietnamese government is being threatened by a large-scale sacking of the nation’s treasury. The stolen gold is apparently being smuggled to mining operations in Alaska where it is “laundered” and converted to cash. Ben is asked to ferret out the rogue miners so the government can move in and return the looted gold to the treasury of South Vietnam. As usual, the task is more complex and more dangerous than it seems. Ben must call on some of his offbeat friends to see him through.