Code Name Arc Angel: The Demise of the Devil - Bruce Jarvis

Code Name Arc Angel: The Demise of the Devil - Bruce Jarvis

On opening the package, I was faced with spellings that just didn’t feel right. Arc Angel should surely be Archangel and Adolph, Adolf? I couldn’t help wondering if this was a portent of things to come?

By the end of chapter two, I was beginning to wear of the author’s writing style. I found it stiff and stilted, though to be fair it was easy enough to read, it just felt clumsy and awkward. As the end of chapter five loomed, I really was beginning to lose the will to live.

At the halfway stage of the book, I’m thinking, ‘For God’s sake, just get on with it man! Where is this going?’ Coincidentally, at this point, I received an offer from Amazon: 64% off the published price. This sparked alarm bells and I decided to do some investigation. The results were not really surprising.

It’s a self-published book and in the world of writers, the company involved doesn’t exactly get the most glowing of reviews. OK, so now I knew and could get on with reading, at least being aware of the situation and of understanding why the US ambassador’s name had changed and why there were plenty of other typos and grammatical errors. Interestingly, the errors got worse as the book progressed, implying that any proofreader used was also being bored to tears.

It was also around the halfway mark that I noticed speech appearing first in German and then being translated for us by another character. Why? This is nothing more than a cheap padding trick, it adds nothing to the story: whatever that turns out to be.

So, I’m halfway through the book and it has told me what? An American couple has been sent to wartime Germany, to visit his dying father. Said father has sadly died, funeral held and they’ve returned to the USA. And that really is it. Up to now, this book has more waffle than my local Tesco store.

The story did liven up in the last quarter of the book. In fact, I thought it felt a little rushed. Allegedly, this book tells a true story, although I could find nothing online to corroborate it. But it was here in the last portion of the book that the whole story was told, up to this point it was all vague background speculation.

This book just didn’t work for me. To my mind, the writer’s style is all wrong for a thriller. It may be loosely based on a true story but I’m rather sceptical, at best I’d suggest taking it with a very large dose of salt. I know that truth is often stranger than fiction, but this just didn’t hold together for me. There were too many unlikely and implausible events. It came across as a typical ‘friend of a friend story’ (FOAF) that you might read in the likes of Fortean Times.

Sorry Bruce, as someone who has tried to write a book I know the effort that has gone into this and I feel a pang of guilt here, but I’m only running to 1 anchor, it’s not a book I can recommend at all.