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The Feather Men

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But, again because of that, I was a bit disoriented at first, because the prelude, the initial chapters, were slow and over-detailed for that kind of fiction, almost the opposite of a page-turner. He reaffirmed that he had the signed permission of the soldiers' families, including Kealy's wife, to mention them in the book. I had heard of this book before I saw the film based on it but it was only after seeing the movie reently that I decided to read it. Unfolding over 20 years, the killers are very successful despite the efforts of a private overwatch group known as The Feather Men, a secret group that tried to protect current and former SAS men.

The targets for assassination end up all being British SAS officers who were "seconded" to the Sultan's army during the war. For better or worse, I almost never read a book without finding out what it's about, but I do wish I hadn't read the foreword until I'd gotten into the story. This absorbing book details their 14-year struggle to capture the Clinic, a band of contract killers who murdered four former British soldiers.In June 2010, Alice Clarke, the daughter of SAS soldier Major Mike Kealy whose death is depicted in The Feather Men at the hands of The Clinic, spoke out, saying that her father had died during an endurance exercise in the Brecon Beacons in 1979. The time-line also jumped all over the place, and between sets of characters, without warning and sometimes almost in the middle of a paragraph, so it took time to realise that the scene had changed.

black boards, spine lettered in gilt; dust wrapper, a little worn, edges lightly creased and split; Bloomsbury, London, 1991. The paperback editions, however, presented the book as purely fiction and omitted the index and illustrations. And partly because of that no doubt, I approached it at first with misconception, as a kind of action thriller, a bit like a Jason Bourne story. The sons of the sheikh had been military combatants in various efforts in Oman and as such were killed in military combat by British SAS (Special Air Services) men. At the end of the book, Fiennes holds up his hands and justifies his use of his background knowledge and experience to ‘paint’ the scenes for which there was no primary (first-hand) source.How the hired killers went about their task (making each murder look like an accident), how they were finally apprehended and how this case in 1990 also put an end to the Committee--or so Fiennes ( Hell on Ice ) contends its members have assured him--makes for a highly suspenseful tale. I happened to read that book in Saigon in 1963, some ten years after it was written, in the city where much of the action takes place, and even though the situation had changed since then the book still struck me as totally true to life. The group would be paid one million dollars for each confirmed revenge killing, which included video recording of the target being accused of the death of the appropriate son. Well in Killer Elite even Chairman Mao is quoted, “In given conditions a bad thing can lead to good results. The story is intriguing - hired killers getting revenge for an Arab sheik by performing hits on the British SAS men who killed one or another of the sheik's 4 sons.

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