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The Fifth Angel - David Wiltse

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Genre: Fiction

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      30.12.2011 14:21
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      A pointless Rambo rip-off

      The Fifth Angel by David Wiltse


      == Plot synopsis ==
      It starts off in 1979 when the main character is taking part in a military training exercise, and then for the rest of the book moves to 1984.
      Mark Stitzer was the best paratrooper in an elite unit of the U.S army. He is trained to covertly go into Moscow and carry out terrorist acts in the case of World War 3. However, during a training exercise, he gets accidentally buried alive, and goes crazy as a result. He ends up thinking the training exercise is a real mission.


      == My Thoughts ==
      I enjoy reading novels set during the Cold War and I was looking forward to reading an action packed novel with a heroic character who manages to come on top, against all the odds.
      However, this appears to have been published in 1985 and I would say that it is a cheap and pointless Rambo rip off that was trying to cash in on the success of the movies. It has a mentally disturbed soldier, Mark Stitzer as the main protagonist. He thinks he is on a mission behind enemy lines, and that his wife, nephew and anyone else he comes across are Soviet imposters and not who they say they are.


      When I read a story, I expect there to be at least one good character that I can empathise with. This has no such characters. All of them have some bad points especially Stitzer. He is not someone I would like to meet. He comes across as being a syco even before he goes crazy, and you never really get to see what he is thinking. His character reminded me of Rambo but at least in the novel David Morell wrote, he tried to do some character development and explain how Rambo was feeling to try to get the reader to understand where he is coming from. Unlike Stitzer, Rambo didn't kill innocent civilians even though he does blow up a whole town and loads of police officers. I thought Stitzer was a terrorist rather than an elite soldier. I was there thinking there may be some redeeming quality about him but there is nothing by the end of the novel.
      Another important character is his nephew who is a journalist and who has some feelings towards his uncle as he brought him up after his parents died. I thought he was too naive and I didn't like him either as he ends up screwing his aunt (Stitzer's ex-wife).
      I didn't like the aunt either as later on in the book, the aunt screws Stitzer again. I remember thinking make your mind up.


      I can't say anything good about the plot either. I remember thinking if Stitzer is so dangerous then why is it that no special forces units were brought in to hunt him down. Instead, the FBI who are trying to apprehend him, come across as being incompetent and bumble their way through.


      I was disappointed with the ending as well. It is left pretty open ended. Maybe the author was planning to write a sequel, but it felt like the story had been left incomplete. I ended up feeling there was no point to it at all.


      == Summary and recommendation ==
      I can't recommend this as there is no story and no likeable characters. I would have given this zero stars if I could but instead, I give this one star.

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