Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

Over The Top Spycraft

3 min read

Fallen Angel by John Ling is a book I got from an author website through Instafreebie. It is in the genre of one spy-gone-rogue and another retired spy with humane concerns returning from retirement to save the day. In this case we have Kendra, the retired spy, who has spotted her boyfriend, Ryan, from ten years before engaging in some type of covert activity that does not appear to be officially sanctioned. When Ryan’s activities result in an explosion that should have assured his death, Kendra begins an investigation to determine what has been going on.

This book veers off into spy fantasy. It will take a lot of reader suspension of belief to go along with the series of coincidences and situations portrayed in this novel. An interesting part of the reader experience can be to observe the organization of the author in writing this selection. Chapters are divided into topic areas. Certain chapters detail surveillance and counter surveillance methods on the street as operatives move from place to place. Other chapters detail fighting styles as Kendra defeats her opponents. Other chapters detail supposed intelligence organizations gone bad as bureaucrats try to cover up their mistakes. Author Ling ties all of these chapters into a coherent story.

Which is not to say the story is in any way believable. Kendra is not only proficient in a wide variety of weapons, she is able to restock her supply the old-fashioned way, by killing those who have them. She always seems to have the right weapon for the right job no matter that the story moves over widely disparate geographical areas.

There are the chapters and segments that describe a government bureaucracy gone wild in which various elements are quite willing to kill their own in the preservation of secrecy. This is not a recipe for instilling employee loyalty. Such rogue activities would produce organizations which could not survive long over time.

Kendra, our hero and main protagonist, kills people with the same attitude as one ticking items off a shopping list. There are lots of kills and it was a bit difficult for me to keep track of the numbers. I finally gave up. I don’t want to meet people like Kendra. The blase acceptance of dealing death to anyone getting in the way is a bit of a stretch.

It seems this story is pitched to an audience of fans of this type of story. Jargon is used and not explained. Reader knowledge is assumed. “Use the edge of her eye to check on her six.” (Kindle location 722) refers to Kendra observing dangerous conditions behind her. “Kendra peered under the car, trying to locate the tango,” (Kindle location 299) refers to the target (T = tango). Fans can feel superior with their knowledge of insider terms.

I give this a rating of two Amazon stars for being too over-the-top in the casual acceptance of violence and intelligence operations craziness.


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