Books Library; June, 2002
of action and espionage fiction will be entertained by The Meeting
the debut novel from management consultant Edward Kleinguetl.
Much like the novels main character, successful investment
banker Deke Koenig, Mr. Kleinguetl brings more to the table than
the novels calm exterior might betray. Well-written and brimming
with exhaustive and, one might conclude, quite accurate detail,
The Meeting Point
bodes well for the continued development of
Mr. Kleinguetls abilities.
When Deke Koenig
is approached by mysterious South Africans bearing pictures of a
Cuban general, he is bewilderedthen intrigued. Raúl
Arrocha, the one-time seminary student turned communist agitator
who dishonored Koenigs friendship, is the target of an intricate
kidnapping plot to take place at his base in Angola. Rather than
dwell on political action, Mr. Kleinguetl successfully takes the
reader through the ex-SEALs emotional responses; anger and
confusion harden into the steely will of a confident competitor
tasked with a Mission Impossible-esque challenge. Of course Koenig
accepts the South Africans assignment.
together a crack team of former SEALs augmented by specially selected
South Africans for six weeks of training followed by a painstakingly
planned attack on Arrochas compound. But the avid reader cackles
in delight with the foreknowledge that even the best-laid plans
go awry, and The Meeting Point
is no exception. Koenig and
his men successfully capture Arrocha, only to have their escape
to Zaire blocked by a double-crossing element that does not want
a victorious rebel party on their hands.
is a bloody, costly battle in which Koenig sustains both bodily
injury and the trauma of losing his men. As in life, success and
failure in The Meeting Place
are not black and white. Arrochas
kidnapping turns out to be a "liberation" for both men,
who are now free to make attachments to family and friends that
they never before permitted themselves.
has done an admirable job of splicing together a fantastic amount
of historical detail in an easily readable and quite enjoyable manner.
His style is brisk and even, and he carries action sequences well.
This reviewer was disappointed in the authors portrayal of
Koenigs love interest, in whom we hope he ultimately finds
more to admire than her sparkling blue eyes. More than making up
for that fault, however, is the manner in which Mr. Kleinguetl delivers
the most masculine of scenes without an accompanying stench of laughable
books only major error is its length. Mr. Kleinguetl takes
the road less travelled when he chooses to describe the approach,
the training, the mission, and the consequences in such detail.
Because that is the exception rather than the rule in military literature,
the pace feels leisurely, at times overly so.
the books heft cannot overshadow Mr. Kleinguetls deft
handling of setting and situation. The Meeting Point
excellent addition to any action-lovers library.