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The Feather Men

The Feather Men

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Frankly, it's just another example of the Special Forces' reputation being exploited for commercial gain. 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.

It was even made into a movie - The Killer Elite - but that movie veered far away from this narrative. 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 Feather Men determined that the deaths of the four SAS was not so accidental… and spent years hunting down the killers. I don’t want to throw any spoilers into this review, just that I’d like to believe the whole book is true. Furthermore, the death had to look like an accident or from natural causes, which The Clinic excelled in doing.This absorbing book details their 14-year struggle to capture the Clinic, a band of contract killers who murdered four former British soldiers. Faint tidemarks on the page edges not affecting the text and a bump on the rear board foredge else very good in a near fine dustwrapper with internal spotting. I found this book in a NY Times book review section on mysteries and did not know it was about Oman, when I started to read it. 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.

Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE, better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records. 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. 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.But having passed that initial stage, I was soon captivated - both by the story itself, and by the wealth of detailed inside knowledge it reveals - of SAS actions and training, of a war in Oman I knew almost nothing about, of the mechanics of mounting assassinations so skilfully and stealthily as to make them appear to be accidents. Truth be told, I had to get through the first fifty or so pages, but after that I couldn’t put the book down.

Ranulph Fiennes has published eight books, two of which have been in The Sunday Times bestseller list. Having said that, as regards the Killer Elite, both the film and the book are well worth watching and reading.He reaffirmed that he had the signed permission of the soldiers' families, including Kealy's wife, to mention them in the book. If its true then it is an astonishing account of the machinations of a world which could only be related by a man of Ran Fiennes' amazing experience. Describing Fiennes' claims as "disgraceful", she stated that her mother had confronted the author at the Hay Festival, and he had admitted to her that the story was a work of fiction. It is about a group of contract assassins, The Clinic, who were hired by an Oman sheikh to carry out revenge killings for the deaths of his four sons during the civil war.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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