Last Mission: the last hours of the Third Reich by Jack Everett and David Coles
|Last Mission: the last hours of the Third Reich by Jack Everett and David Coles|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: This book concentrates on aspects of the second world war. The whole America/Germany ugly tussle for dominance is played out here by a handful of characters.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 474||Date: May 2010|
|Publisher: Acclaimed Books|
We first meet a couple of characters living in the United States. A husband and wife and a relation of theirs called Paul. On the surface, they appear to be enjoying happy, normal lives. But all is not what is seems. We soon find out that the husband, Carl has some secrets. Pretty big ones. He keeps a picture of Adolph Hitler on display - somewhere - in his home, for example. Links with Germany and his past life are often talked about, or rather whispered about, with a handful of trusted 'acquaintances' over a beer or two.
The front cover tells the reader in no uncertain terms that this novel is about the last hours of the Third Reich. And so the character Paul finds himself working on some hush-hush project. The pay and conditions are good and he doesn't want to rock the boat. But he has his suspicions. Will he act on them?
We then meet up with a handful of characters over in Europe. Germany. And all the infamous names from history get a mention, with Hitler top of the list, of course. And it's at this part of the story that the co-authors Everett and Coles come into their comfort zone. Great detail is given over to many, many pages of the second world war and all the twists and turns. Basically, in this story, action is required and only Hitler can authorise it. We see his minions and yes-men in a tizzy, trying to deal with their moody and temperamental leader. It's not easy. You can almost feel them walking on those proverbial eggshells. The odd line shines out here and there, such as ... felt as naked as a skinned wurst. But otherwise the language is workman-like but also fluent. It just lacked sparkle for me.
And as the plot deepens we criss-cross between somewhere in America and somewhere in Germany. All top secret, of course. Paul seems to be getting in too deep and all sorts of things start to happen. But are they good things or bad things? Both sides take it in turns to tell their side of the story. Animosity, suspicion and down-right hatred also play their parts.
I did have a few issues with this book. I got the distinct impression that once the co-authors started to write about all things warfare, they couldn't stop. Therefore information overload at times and it also served to slow up the pace of the story. There's also a mini-plot concerning members of Paul's family which would be better placed in a crime novel. Similarly, a touch of romance is also introduced. Nothing wrong with that but it did seem totally out of place here. Especially the 'bad sex' sections. All of this diluted the pace of the plot, for me. Too many long-winded conversations and dialogue going nowhere, serving very little purpose.
This book would read much better, in my opinion, with a good section of it chopped. Less is more. On a positive note, I was pleasantly surprised by the good impression of the text on the page. Lots of nice, white space which made for easy reading. But then, it was spoiled somewhat by sloppy proof-editing. Names suddenly had missing letters, punctuation was all over the place and odd line spacing here and there. Overall, a less than average read for me, I'm afraid.
I'd like to thank the authors for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then try Treachery by Julian Stockwin.
You can read more book reviews or buy Last Mission: the last hours of the Third Reich by Jack Everett and David Coles at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Last Mission: the last hours of the Third Reich by Jack Everett and David Coles at Amazon.com.
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