Brian Lehman, besides working on several novels, has had a variety of life experiences. As a teenager and later he worked in the family liquor store where he learned to deal with an endless stream of interesting situations and people. After a couple years of college he spent four years in the United States Navy working in communications on three different ships. One of those was a destroyer where he became a Vietnam Veteran. Serving on that warship as well as the other ships and duties he took part in contributed to the inspiration and authenticity of his storytelling for WAR PAINT. After his time in the navy he finished college, earned his bachelor's and master's degree, and spent 32 years teaching elementary school. There he discovered that his experience dealing with liquor store customers and the navy bureaucracy turned out to be more useful that you might think.
Parts of FINDERS TAKERS are based on some of his life experiences as well. Readers might be interested to know that the parts of the book that are set in Bakersfield, California are lifted directly from the neighborhood where he grew up in Fresno, California. "I took that neighborhood, street names and all, and set it down in Bakersfield. I needed it to be closer to Las Vegas and Los Angeles."
And, on top of everything else, he says he's a decent cook, but he doesn't practice guitar very much because he's busy writing his next novel which might be published by the end of the year or just into next year.
War Paint is a thriller and a naval warfare story like no other from the Vietnam War. It is April 1972 and the fading war has suddenly reawakened with the Easter Offensive, a massive invasion by North Vietnam into South Vietnam. U.S. troop strength has fallen to new lows and 20 year-old surfer and troublemaker Jeffs Ryder is a new member of the crew of a destroyer known as the Rat. He and his fiancée Cathy's lives are turned upside down as his ship and many others are suddenly sent to the war. But the most dangerous enemy is not the one they expect. A secret group committed to the destruction of the ship and an unbalanced navy fleet commander launch a conspiracy to send the warship into a confrontation with patrol boats armed with ship-killing missiles. As their possible doom inches ever closer, Jeffs and his shipmates continue to deal with separation from loved ones, dangerous attacks into enemy territory and shipboard life--all with ironic, sometimes comic and often tragic outcomes. War Paint is a look into the role of the navy in a lesser known chapter of the war and a captivating coming of age tale of high ranking treachery and heroism.
War Paint Review by Vietnam Veterans of America
Crime Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
In this suspenseful crime thriller, three friends manage to carry out what one of them describes decades later as “the greatest kid crime ever committed.” But that’s not their only secret. Who murdered the neighborhood mobster?
David, Mary Kay and her twin brother Tommy spend their lives hiding an improbable act of deception from their youth and how they became fabulously wealthy. Decades pass and the burden of guarding their secret and who they are takes a toll leading to paranoia, reckless behavior, obsession and more secrets.
A childhood acquaintance suddenly understands the significance of what he knows and what the three must have done. His investigation tips off the very people they have been hiding from all along. What follows is revenge, death, a “deal with the devil,” and the revelation of stunning, unforeseen madness.