Review: Revenge by Charles Whiting

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Revenge! by Charles Whiting, Netgalley copy, November 2015, 170p.

3 stars.

Revenge is a good old fashioned World War II thriller. I haven’t actually read many WWII thrillers, I usually read books set in modern times or nonfiction accounts of history, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this novel.

It is obvious when reading through Charles Whiting’s novel that he has significant knowledge of the time period of which he writes, on a few occassions I looked up “facts” in this book thinking that they were fictional, only to feel like a complete idiot – because as someone who has studied this history, I should have known these things! Whiting knows the history so well, that he plays with it. He is able to tell an engaging and convincing story that still makes you scratch your head in puzzlement.

I liked the characters of the O’Sullivans and the rest of the unit, but I did feel like this could have been expanded into a richer, more complex novel – the singular plot and caricature characters could have been so much more. I had very high hopes for Revenge (as in, 5 star hopes), as during the first 15% I was reduced to laughter and had already started to feel connected to the characters, but the rest of the novel was very plot driven, and was weakened by having only the main plot.

A warning also to those who are a bit sensitive – there is a lot of historically correct racism in this novel. Nearly all of the characters use derogatory language, but because of the setting, I see it as realistic, if upsetting. It is strange to read that sort of language and just have it accepted, but when you think of the soldiering force, the blatant anti-semitism of the period and what these men had just experienced, the language makes perfect sense.

Overall, Revenge! was a cracking good read!

 

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