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Flight of the Eagles reviewed by Bongani Mkhonta

Flight of the EaglesThis novel is a story of two twin brothers, namely, Max and Harry Kelso who were both born in the United States but were separated when they were boys. When the Second World War broke out, they found themselves fighting on opposite sides, with Max as one of the Luftwaffe’s most feared pilots and Harry as a yank ace in the RAF. The war produced many amazing stories but neither twin could have predicted the diabolical circumstances which would bring them together again. The war events placed them in awkward positions full of danger, such that they found themselves questioning everything that they valued, their lives and ultimately their loyalties. And upon their actions hung the outcome of the war itself. This is a breathtaking World war adventure that is so spellbinding, readers will find it difficult to cease reading about it.

Jack Higgins was a soldier and then a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ turned him into an international bestselling author and his novels have since sold over 250 million copies and been translated into sixty languages. Many of them have also been made into successful films

Title: Flight of Eagles
Author: Jack Higgins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011
ISBN: 0007384718, 9780007384716
Length: 400 pages
Subjects: Fiction Action & Adventure

For people living in South Africa, purchase Flight of Eagles from Kalahari.com

source: The Swazi Observer

Popularity: 10% [?]

The Graveyard Shift

The Graveyard ShiftThe story introduces Nick Miller, a police sergeant with independent financial means. The case concerns Ben Garvald, just released from serving a sentence for a payroll robbery. There are people who don’t want Ben to come home, including his ex-wife and her sister. The search for Ben results in a large amount of collateral damage as various characters seem to trip over their own feet.

Some of the plot does not seem very realistic, perhaps because monetary amounts seemed too low for the related actions, or perhaps because there is too much action in too short a time period.

Year of the Tiger

Year of the TigerA couple of days before his retirement, Paul Chavasse was approached by a Tibetan monk requesting information on an extremely classified operation he had carried out in 1962, smuggling a brilliant mathematician out of communist Chinese occupied Tibet.As he recalled his adventure, readers would see Paul Chavasse, who had 3 years before successfully smuggled the Dalai Lama out of Tibet, return in order to extract a 70-year old sickly mathematician. His mission almost ended the moment it began, running into a group of Chinese soldiers and Russian journalist who happened to be passing by as he landed in the remote wilderness of Tibet. His mission was made even harder with the presence of a beautiful Russian house helper Katya in the home of the mathematician, and the relentless diabolically shrewd Colonel Li, commander of the regional Chinese garrison.

Betrayal, torture, deception met Chavasse at every turn. How was he going to return with a sickly geriatric over such long distances of inhospitable terrain at Himalayan altitudes ?

Readers may not get a treat of how harshly beautiful Tibet is, but there is no shortage of excitement as Chavasse fought to remain true to his mission.

Wrath of God

Wrath of GodIn 1920s Mexico, three men are brought together under different circumstances and blackmailed into completing a mission for a Mexican army officer. The three men are Keogh, a former IRA assasin, Van Horne, a priest who also robs banks, and Janos, an overweight businessman who stops at nothing to better himself. The mission they receive is to capture a man, dead or alive, Tomas de la Plata, who has gone renegade and is reigning terror on a small part of northern Mexico. I really enjoyed this book. All the characters are fairly well-developed and you get to know them and their motivations by the end. Not Higgins’ best book, but his fans will definitely enjoy this western action.

If you like the book, try and find a copy of the movie that was based on Higgins’ novel. It stars Robert Mitchum, Frank Langella, Victor Buono, Ken Hutchison, and Rita Hayworth in her last movie. The movie differs from the book in certain parts, but just like the novel, it is highly enjoyable, and full of great characters and plenty of action.

Confessional

ConfessionalDevlin is the former IRA gunman, German intelligence operative and all around charming rogue from such other Higgins works as “The Eagle has Landed” and “Touch the Devil.”This time, Devlin is semi-retired from the IRA and working as a professor of English literature at Trinity College in Dublin. The KGB has placed a deep-cover operative in Ireland, where he’s killed both Protestants and Catholics at key times, in order to maintain the state of strife and distrust that exists in Northern Ireland.

But when a Soviet engineer defects to Britain, he has a story to tell. The KGB had set up a town called Drumore in the Ukraine, but it’s an exact replica of a market town in Northern Ireland. There, a young man named Mikhail Kelly, son of a Russian mother and Irish revolutionary Sean Kelly, is trained to act as a normal Irishman, and a member of the IRA. Kelly has been in Ireland for twenty years, acting on Moscow’s orders to derail any peace initiatives.

Now, the jig is up. But the KGB attempts to put Kelly, his usefulness over, out of commission. They fail, and now Kelly has no where to run and nowhere to hide. In a last act of desperation, he sets his sights on the Pope, who’ll soon be visiting England.

Devlin, working in conjunction with the IRA and Brigadier Charles Ferguson, must stop him.

This is a good book for Higgins fans. The beginning of the book seems sort of slow, and never quite builds the tension it intends to. The action picks up near the end, when Mikhail Kelly is unmasked in his assumed identity. Kelly’s romp through Great Britain, one step ahead of Devlin and Ferguson, is the best part of the book.

Storm Warning

Storm WarningIt’s 1944 and Germany is facing its final defeat. Five thousand miles across the Allied dominated Atlantic, twenty-two men and five nuns aboard the Barquentine Deutschland are battling home to Kiel. Among them are a U-boat ace captured in a raid on Falmouth. A female American doctor caught in the nightmare of flying bombs. A gunboat commander who’s fought from the Solomons to the Channel and a rear admiral desperate to get some of the action. Allies and enemies, men and women, the hunters and the haunted all drawn into the eye of the storm.

Hell Is Always Today

Hell Is Always TodayThe setting is a large city in northern England, but it is not clear, in this particular novel, which city. Perhaps the author expected readers to have read the earlier novels in the series. The story is a complex plot about a serial killer.

The story, like many others by Jack Higgins, takes place in a very short period of time – less than a week. A number of young women of the evening have been killed by an unknown assailant called The Rainlover in the press. Another murder occurs, but it does not quite fit the pattern.

The plot is complex, and a suspect emerges early in the story, but all is not quite as it seems with the last murder. An escaped criminal (a cat burgler) enters into the story to complicate matters. The final climax has the usual makings of a Jack Higgins novel as everything ends in a final battle.

A Fine Night For Dying

A Fine Night For DyingIn this post-war “thriller”, British intelligence agent Paul Chavasse is assigned a case involving a body discovered in the English channel weighted down with chains. Following a lead to a human smuggling ring (to circumvent tight immigration laws), he trives to be a customer using an Australian identity as a cover. The passage back to England becomes one of cross and double-cross, and before it’s over several more deaths go down ere Chavasse closes in on the bad guys and, together with the victim’s brother, ensures the carriage of justice.While the storyline is suspenseful, this is a pretty short novel at 180 pages set in fairly large print. The plot is quite straightforward, with just a few characters and a couple of settings, and is characterized by sustained action as opposed to intrigue or complexity. By today’s modern thriller standards, this simplistic book comes across as pretty tame — maybe that was to be expected from a book published nearly 35 years ago.

The White House Connection

The White House ConnectionThe Irish peace process is at risk because of the actions of a heartbroken mother in Higgins’s 29th thriller. American-born and married to a British lord, 60-ish Lady Helen Lang, the “nicest person you’ll ever meet,” has taken it upon herself to avenge the brutal death of her son, Peter, at the hands of the Sons of Erin, a fringe Irish-nationalist group led by a psychotic Vietnam vet and with operatives in Dublin, London and the U.S. Other members include gangster Tim Pat Ryan, IRA terrorist Jack Barry, U.S. Senator Michael Cohan and a mysterious member known only as the Connection, who is revealed to be a mole in the White House. With nothing more than an old government file, a modified computer and a .25 revolver, Lady Helen makes short work of most of these villains, managing at one point to knock off three of them in four paragraphs. Naturally, this wholesale violence attracts the attention of Higgins regulars Brigadier Charles Ferguson and Sean Dillon, who try to protect Senator Cohan during his upcoming visit to London. It’s not giving away any surprises to reveal that eventually the bad guys get theirs, but there are precious few surprises here, and a bloodless, cartoonish quality to everything from the dialogue to the killings. Higgins’s attempt at characterizations are unpersuasive at bestAto prove that she’s really a decent sort, Lady Helen passes up a chance to kill Senator Cohan in favor of shooting a couple of muggersAand as usual, Sean Dillon’s prowess as a gunman includes the ability to outshoot men who have already drawn a gun on him. As for the style, everything is fast, flat and featureless, like driving a car on cruise control in Kansas.

Eye Of The Storm

Eye Of The StormEarly in 1991, while the Gulf war is in full bloom, operatives of Saddam Hussein hire legendary terrorist Sean Dillon to take the war to the enemy. A master of disguise and subterfuge, Dillon began his career with the IRA, earning the enmity of Liam Devlin–the unforgettable antihero of The Eagle Has Landed , who makes a featured appearance here–and of Martin Brosnan, an American Special Forces hero and IRA member turned college professor. After Dillon’s attempt to assassinate former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a visit to France fails, he decides to go after her successor, John Major, and his War Cabinet with a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. Learning that British Intelligence is recruiting Brosnan to track him down, Dillon confronts his old enemy, a meeting that ends in tragedy and leaves Brosnan bitterly committed to revenge. Although readers can be sure that Dillon’s scheme will be foiled, fun remains in the how and why. Standard Higgins in style, plot and resolution, this is bound for bestsellerdom