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Customer Review

on February 28, 2003
A group of over-the-hill soldiers are called upon to assemble a mercenary army for a single mission: rescue the dissident leader of an embattled African nation. When the current regime proves intractable at the negotiating table, a consortium of British companies hits on the perfect plan to turn things in their direction. By springing the country's popular but jailed former leader out of jail (I guess he was supposed to be a stand-in for Patrice Lumamba, murdered former president of the Congo, but that's just a guess), they'll have the needed leverage. The mercs they hire sound like they're about ready for retirement, but gamely decide on "one-last-mission". The novel lightly but briefly plays up preparations in a way tat suggests the mission will be a walk-over. Eventually, it is - unfortunately, our heroes forget that being mercenaries, they are not the only side that owes no allegiance. When the regime caves in too quickly, the mercenaries' contractors decide that the Wild Geese are now a liability, and abandon them. Now cut off in enemy territory, the mercenary army must fight its way out. It's no easy go.
This was a great story, but it's not told all that well. The real meat of the book is the desperate escape, but the entire story feels rushed, even though there's a great story to be told. When our heroes are first introduced, the book hints at their complex lives ... without ever really fleshing them out. Also, it's hard to believe that our heroes - hardly innocent characters - couldn't see their betrayal coming. Still a great story, and certainly no small consolation for those who can't find the flick.
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