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on September 9, 2002
After reading the Publishers Weekly review I was uncertain about diving into a book of over 600 pages. Nevertheless, the sharp-looking cover and intriguing liner notes sucked me into the story...and, boy, am I glad!
Despite a few minor speed bumps, "Mission Compromised" is a fast-paced military thriller. We follow the mission of a Marine, Peter Newman, as he coordinates secretive, UN-appointed teams for quick response in global hotspots. He is particularly motivated to see one team become successful in its assignment to assassinate Aidid, the man responsible for the Mogadishu disaster as documented in "Black Hawk Down." Newman's brother was a victim of the massacre, and Newman wants revenge. He also wants to repair his failing marriage, but has few tools to do so. As the story progresses, other factors--Russian, Iraqi, and American--come into focus and threaten Newman's teams, not to mention his very existence.
"Mission Compromised" is a solid thriller. The scope of the characters and plot never equals the scope of a Tom Clancy novel, but the global ramifications of the story do. To call the plot 'convoluted' is to claim amateur status as a reader of espionage novels. With Joe Musser's co-writing, North communicates clearly and effectively, though never oversimplifying the entanglements of any government operation. North's intimate knowledge of his subject matter adds to the breathlessness of the book, particularly in the last third. Sure, the ponderous military parlance might seem overwhelming, but it also underlines the veracity of the story as a whole.
As for speed bumps? Sections of the story do become evangelistic, but they are tame and far from overwhelming. Characters are believable, but never deeply studied. In fact, the book reads most often with the dispassionate delivery of a nonfiction account; when it does dip into emotionalism, it does so subtly--and managed to catch me off-guard on two separate occasions.
My main question upon completing the last page: Where does fiction end and reality begin? Scary stuff. Maybe I'd be safer not knowing.
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on October 24, 2002
Who is better qualified to write a novel about covert missions overseas? Colonel North does an awesome job of explaining military procedure in terms that a civi like me can understand.
The premise of the book circles around covert mission involving the elite British & U.S. Special forces. Their mission: to eliminate terrorists and Saddam Hussein. Their obstacles, besides being killed, corrupt U.N. officials and politicians.
This is also an excellent Christian novel. Colonel North does a realistic job of explaining how a few of the central characters come to know Christ.
If your looking for a novel of full of suspense, action, military missions , and a strong Christian message.... this is the book for you.
Great show Ollie! Look forward to your next work of fiction.
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on September 15, 2002
Ollie North has written a tremendous book, packed with excitement, human interest, a detailed knowledge of the way things work at "the top," and a deep Christian faith. He and Joe Musser combine these elements into a thriller that keeps you up at night. Moreover, the characters are believable and they grow and develop throughout the book, which is pretty unusual in thrillers of this genre. Mission Compromised is an eerie blend of fact and fiction, leaving the reader unsure which is which. Well done all around.
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on September 5, 2002
I read Clancy, Ludlum, Follet and the rest. This was a great book that ranks right up there with the best of the genre. It held my interest right to the end of a 600+ page thriller. It opens at a fast pace and keeps you hooked all the way through. Some North East liberal media reviewers just can't get past Ollie's politics and admit that this is a great read. As for me, I can't wait for number two!!
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on November 12, 2004
I enjoyed many things about this book, the development of characters, the story line and especially the lack of profanity. I thought North got his points across very well, without 4 letter words, and this was refreshing. I did have to remind myself that it was a work of fiction; however, so much was based on real life that I had a bit of trouble sorting events out.
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on August 13, 2004
After ordering The Jericho Sanction, I figured I had better read this book first as it is the lead novel in a planned trilogy. I am currently reading the 2nd book and can report that it is much more smoothly written than the first, but that reading the first was helpful. Oliver North certainly knows from first hand experience the perspective that Major Peter Newman, USMC brings to his job at the National Security Council, because Newman is the first person to hold the position that North used to have since the Iran-Conta dust up. Newman is put in charge of a covert UN force who are authorised to bring to justice international lawbreakers. His immediate superior, the president's NSA as a deceitful SOB who is in league with a former Russian KGB agent and general who is now a Deputy Secretary General at the UN. He is also involved with selling nuclear weapons to Iraq, among other things, and it is the Iraq factor that leads to the deliberate sabotaging of Newman's mission to Iraq, by both of Newman's supervisors.

The timing of the novel is set during Clinton administration and if you are a fan of that group, this story will go down with some difficulty for you as there is little to be proud of in the way the US government conducts itself. The claim that Sandy Berger was stuffing classified documents into his pants in order to remove them from the National Archieves is child's play, compared to the activities of the NSA in this novel. There is, as others have noted, a heavy dose of Christian evangalisim in parts of the book. It is part of the plotline and gives the rationale for some of the actions that take place. It could have been done with a lighter hand, but I did not find it offensive or distracting. All in all, I was glad I read it as necessary homework for the books that follow. You get the names of the players and the background for the story's framework. There is a bit of the Tom Clancy urge to overdescribe some aspects of things that don't really advance the story.
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on November 30, 2002
Please don't let the number of pages dissuade you from getting this book. Every page drove me to turn to the next and when other obligations called I could not wait to pick up the book again. Col. North does an excellent job at keeping you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. The book is excellent in two folds. Great entertainment and a Great Christian Message. I only wish I had another 600 pages to read.
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on May 9, 2003
Though I have read many books in this genre - military/goverment- I must say that this is one of the best novels I have ever read. Oliver North is a vibrant story-teller, full of talent for making you feel like you know the characters and places and are there.
I was a bit unsure at first with the glossary of acronyms and assumed that I would be flipping back and forth between them and what I was reading, just to decipher each paragraph. But, I quickly found that I was learning and enjoying at the same time. It is full of intrigue, mystery, action, truth, and the occasional comedic flare. "I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob."
I believe that this novel is more historical fiction than pure fiction. And maybe a bit of an autobiography as well. It showed a side of Oliver North that many like to discount - his humanity and Christianity. I recommend this book for everyone.
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on August 22, 2002
As a lover of high-tech, para-military fiction, I was facinated to read what Oliver North has written, or was that "has lived"? Not only was this a "great beach read" featuring a finely woven plot around current political happenings in the White House, United Nations and the Middle East, but it left me with a very strange sense that this scenario was way too real! After all, Oliver North has lived more clandestine situations than any of us, including Tom Clancy, could ever dream about!
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on September 24, 2002
I don't know what you think of Oliver North, but you really need to read his latest book: Mission: Compromised; about 500 pages in length but it's one of those great suspense stories that starts rolling slowly and then gets faster and faster until you are almost breathless at the end.
It takes place during the Clinton years: a top secret "non-existent" Special Ops force created by the UN to "Sanction" unwanted political leaders. The hero is Peter J Newman. There is great character development in the story, IMHO. Both Peter and his wife are built up and the villains are brought down.
What I appreciated most about it was the Christian message that North weaves through the story. It's not merely an international thriller but a story of redemption as well. More than once I jumped on Google and typed in some names to see if they really existed. Many did!
I won't give anything away about the plot but you have to read to the very last paragraph to get the full impact.
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