Sarah's Reviews > Rules of Deception

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich
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Sep 25, 08

bookshelves: amsterdam-used-books, american-authors, crime-espionage-police, 2008-reads
Recommended for: Noone
Read in September, 2008

You should probably never read fiction based on your job. It annoys you when they get things wrong and it distracts you from the plot - making you wonder what else the author got wrong. I'm only half way through - thumbing through it listlessly before bed every night. It is very Dan Brown - esque; right down to the useless facts thrown in there that are supposed to explain sentences that the author just said - and given my understanding of all the errors that he made with MSF, I REALLY don't trust him to get the details of technical espionage right.

Errors so far:
* Rebels in Liberia shouting at our noble doctor in French. Liberia is english speaking.
* Referring to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders as DWB... ALWAYS referred to as MSF even in anglophone countries.
* Getting the entire organizations reason for being wrong - we don't do development - we don't conduct anti-malaria campaigns with WHO or rebuild trauma wards for the government in other countries. And the whole premise that the organization is a cover for exotic spies taking down terrorists is scary since we rely upon our neutrality to protect us in warzones.
* Terminology is just wrong - Surgeons running the whole program? Maybe as a Medical Coordinator but probably wouldn't do much operating then. A simple interview with someone in the organization would have answered that question.
* Ludicrous claims of doctors having sex in clubs during war zones.... wait, that one is true.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Clark Zlotchew Sarah, You're right that you probably should never read fiction based on your job (unless you can suspend disbelief). I think most people don't care that much about accuracy in a work of fiction (as opposed to non-fiction); they want to be entertained rather than instructed. Shakespeare had all kinds of factual errors, anachronisms in his plays, but people enjoyed them. I don't want to be argumentative, really; I just want to present my take on fiction.


Sarah I don't think fiction has to be extremely accurate but... errors that draw you out of your suspension of disbelief should be monitored! Most authors take the time to do a little research when writing about a world that they don't know. And this author obviously doesn't know anything about the world of humanitarian aid (or Africa for that matter) so why not write about something he knows a LITTLE bit about. While I get your point - we don't need to be slaves to accuracy, Christopher Reich is no Shakespeare! If his writing were anywhere near as entertaining as Shakespeare's, I probably wouldn't have felt compelled to write a review pointing out all his errors.


Clark Zlotchew I understand your point. I'm wondering, though, if you weren't kept reading by the intrigue, the action, the twists and turns of the plot, the red herrings, and yes, the violence, the deeds of derring-do.


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