Angel Faces by Scott Vincent

Usually in fiction when an incredibly wealthy man sets up an organisation to influence world events, it’s bad news for the rest of us.

In Scott Vincent’s Vendicare series a billionaire is behind a secret international organisation working at arm’s length for governments who don’t want to get their hands dirty. The kind of person who could easily have been a Bond villain if the dice had rolled differently.

In Angel Faces a team of highly-trained and well equipped modern-day mercenaries are sent to Africa to deal with the latest terrorist threat, but find that keeping their own lives on track is every bit as challenging as maintaining world peace.

While there’s plenty of action, I must confess this book struggled to keep my attention.

At times the opening chapter feels like the kind of debriefing note I assume senior military officers receive after a mission to tell them what lessons can be learned.

It’s packed full of technical details about the equipment being used, with the characters being reduced to little more than first names. I would have preferred a bit more of a preamble, with at least a cursory introduction to help me follow who was doing what in the action that followed.

Like the late Tom Clancy, whose books this brought to mind, it’s not enough for the author to tell us that a gun is being used, he feels the need to give us its technical specifications.

So, while we learn about the imaging capabilities of a group of drones, and the underwater firing capabilities of a particular weapon, we know relatively little about the people who are using them. Fail to pay attention and it can become confusing when something is later referred to just by a series of numbers and letters.

All this information about the equipment left me with the feeling that this is an author who enjoys doing his research. For his sake, I hope he’s got it right. Whatever you write about, there will be readers who care deeply about some aspect of the subject and will be quick to point out mistakes.

If you like your thrillers with a strong military theme, and aren’t too worried about character development, it’s the kind of book that should help you pass the time on a long journey.

Angel Faces

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