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Broken Wings [Mass Market Paperback]

John E.; Olshaker, Mark Douglas
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars What a Pity Jan. 9 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John E. Douglas, one of the best known FBI Profilers and originators of the technique, has a number of non-fiction works in different forms detailing the years of his experience in the FBI dealing with violent crimes, particularly those perpetrated by serial offenders. "Broken Wings" is essentially a rehash of his non-fictional work in the guise of "fiction." But it is hard to call much of the book "fiction". Douglas inserts many of his non-fictional accounts with which many of his readers will be familiar, some of them a little rambling and awkward in the fictional setting. The work often appears embarassingly self-serving. One of the best examples of this is a scene in "Broken Wings" in which Douglas mentions one of his own books in real life, "Journey Into Darkness." Talk about product placement.
I have high regard for the wealth of knowledge that Mr. Douglas has brought us in relation to the study of the criminal mind, but in bringing himself and his experiences so transparently into a work that is supposed to be fiction but barely is that, I think he has somewhat cheapened both the process of writing fiction and his reputation as a professional and criminology expert. What a pity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! July 5 2000
Jake Crawford, longtime FBI agent and serial killer profiler, has been forced into retirement after a hostage-type standoff goes south, even though Crawford's not to blame. So ends a brilliant career. Even a tempting, if a bit ill timed, offer from an eccentric widow fails to pique Jake's interest. Discredited, divorced and dejected, Jake crawls into a self-imposed banishment and alcoholic stupor. Just a day or two after Jake's retirement party, agents are at his banging at his door, demanding his presence at Quantico, and not even leaving him enough time to brush his teeth. It seems his former boss, FBI Director Thomas Jefferson Boyd has just eaten the wrong end of a bullet at his home in San Francisco. His old nemeses, now in charge of a real public relations nightmare, plead with Jake to take a look at the crime scene before the local cops foul it up. Jake is immediately dispatched to the crime scene. Even when all the evidence points to suicide and even when delicate photos of the Director and a woman not his wife are found at the scene, Jake can't bring himself to believe the man would end his life this way. Sensing something is terribly wrong, and that whatever it is just might be found within the walls of the FBI, Jake returns to the rich widow, accepts her challenge to put together a team of experts and sets about to crack the case of Director Boyd's suspicious demise. From his long list of contacts, Jake recruits former professors, fellow officers and some disgraced agents, each of them a 'broken wing' (a term for someone no longer able to handle active duty) in one way or the other. With no budgetary or supervisory restraints, Jake and his group are free to look more closely at the events leading up to the Director's death. Read more ›
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2.0 out of 5 stars How big can Douglas' ego possibly get? March 20 2000
By A Customer
For an author's first piece of fiction this book was probably better than most. But if you've read any of Douglas' earlier, nonfiction pieces you will recognize John Douglas himself all over this. And I mean ALL over it - ad nauseum. The main hero -- and he does make him quite heroic: an attractive, brilliant sleuth, fearless leader, wounded soul, tortured martyr -- is clearly designed to be an Ode to John Douglas. Even the character's initials are J.D. He clearly references numerous cases, research, political battles and ground-breaking first time ever conceived of, never before dared FBI work that are direct lifts from John Douglas' own life - which may have worked had they not already been extolled countless times in his nonfiction books before this. Only this time, in Broken Wings he gets to spice it up a bit, add a little sex, throw in a few more adoring subordinates and generally stroke his already gargantuan ego just a few more times. He even puts a copy of his own book Mindhunter on the nightstand one scene! Give me a break. We already know what an incredible contribution John Douglas has made to the world of Psychological Profiling. Too bad he couldn't do the same for the world of nonfiction.
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The Prologue is an unnecessary, unhelpful ploy that serves to confuse the plot. The First Chapter is slow-reading but the pace begins to accelerate in the Second Chapter. Fact based headlines become interwoven with on-going investigations after FBI profiler, Jake Donovan, attempts to make the dangers in attacking a renegade survival group known to those ordering the attack on the Compound. Jake's insight is accurate. When the attack fails and his profile report is made public, Jake is forced into early retirement by FBI Director Boyd. Jake could not pass firing-range requirements because of eyesight limitations from a head injury sustained a few months earlier in another FBI encounter. The day after his retirement party, Jake learns that FBI Director Boyd committed suicide. The FBI wants a reluctant Jake to return and help investigate the suicide. Meanwhile, Jake has been offered unlimited funding to create the "Special Task Force" that the FBI repeatedly denied him. A very wealthy widow wants the Drug Cartel that stole her drug company in a hostile-take over bid exposed. The widow does not care what other cases Jake works on with the Task Force as long as he also works toward exposing the Cartel. Jake gets his dream plane, plus extra top of the line equipment to aid in Task Force investigations. He gathers together various experts referred to as "broken wings" because they too have been ousted by the government for reasons as lame as those used to oust Jake. In their honor, Jake calls the plane the "Broken Wings". The equipment at Jake's disposal and the experts he brings into the Task Force are impressive, competent, and help add validity and human interest. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Whoops, I bought a novel!
I love true crime and of course, know John Douglas' name well. I ordered this, not realizing until I was running out the door with it in hand to read on the subway that it was a... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Ready for the next one
While I have not read any of the authors previous non-fiction works, I completely enjoyed this novel. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2001 by Kevin Logar
4.0 out of 5 stars Doc Savage Lives Again!
This book is basically an updated version of the old Doc Savage stories; a brilliant hero leads a group of outstanding experts who will all fly anywhere at a moments notice to... Read more
Published on March 9 2001 by Joseph L Burke
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, at best...
If you've read any of Douglas's non fiction work, you will be really let down by this book. I almost hate to admit that, but it's true. Read more
Published on June 27 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Count me a BROKEN WING groupie!
This was my first Douglas/Olshaker book. It won't be my last.
I can't remember reading anything since john case's THE GENESIS CODE that rang so absolutely true. Read more
Published on June 24 2000 by Terry Mathews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindhunter's Finest Hour
As a true John Douglas-Mark Olshaker fan, I was a little concerned when I first heard of their venture into fiction. Read more
Published on May 17 2000 by Vicky Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars FICTION OR FACT?
If you have read all of Douglas' nonfiction works like I have then you will love this book. Douglas and Olshaker's first ficticious collaberation is a can't put down, page turning... Read more
Published on March 15 2000 by Gerard T. McGuire
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, well written - you're hooked immediately!
Having read everything John Douglas has written, I knew this would be a good book, but it is incredible! Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2000 by Lora L. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and Uninventive
In this highly touted collaboration between author Mark Olshaker and former FBI profiler John Douglas, the storyline seems secondary to the ruminations of a former career-focused... Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2000 by Christian
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