Customer Reviews for

The Fifth Man

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Matt Massi has made a decision, it seems. His father Chris Mass

    Matt Massi has made a decision, it seems. His father Chris Massie is a man who speaks little and listens carefully; and he has taught his son the same more by example than by excessive words. Now Matt is a student at Columbia University but doesn’t have much time for studies as he has been contacted for his connection to his father – and Eastern Europe interests. A tip off about a locked storage unit alerts him way beyond the message. At the same time it also eventually connects him to the abused wife of an alcoholic bully, the latter whom he will murder in self-defense and the former with whom he will fall in love!

    Next we meet the rest of the Massi “family,” including his “Don” father, housekeeper, man who assists Chris in finding information on any individual person - or eliminating them, men in the “know” who never seem to be as on top as Matt’s father, and more. A theft of valuable diamonds has been noted and a “find” of $2,000,000 certainly piques Matt’s interest but not out of greed!

    Off to Greece and eventually further into mainland Europe where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be meeting another European leader on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 massacre of Americans by Middle Eastern terrorists. An attack on them would be felt across the globe but for what reason? Before that can even be prevented, multiple individuals enter the picture, all claiming to be part of the connections to the answer, including a sexy lady, a man who heads another mafia family in Europe, a “wolf”-like man, a “blonde” killer and so on.

    James LePore describes the public’s fascination with the Mafia, a group of people who live an entitled life but who all yearn for something far more. The essence of the mystery is about the courts of power, the motivations and tentacles of terrorists, and the necessity of discovering such plots before their devastating outcome in more ways than one. This novel, which is a sequel to LePore’s Sons and Fathers, is superb, sparingly worded, tautly plotted, and engagingly intelligent enough to intrigue any reader. A great read and with a promise of future novels about this classy, slick and superhuman family who choose to “handle” crime in many forms!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2014

    Most kids love ¿connect the dots¿ pictures.  The picture consist

    Most kids love “connect the dots” pictures.  The picture consists of a series of numbered points printed on a page.  When the points are connected by drawing a straight line in numerical order from point to point to point, some sort of image will emerge.

    James LePore's “The Fifth Man” is something of a literary version of a connect-the-dots puzzle for adults  The author does not fill in all of the blanks for the reader.  Rather, he plots a scattering of points, and lets the reader fill in the details between points.  

    The basic plot involves the nuclear family of the leader of a crime family (who may be even more than they appear), being coerced into getting involved in preventing some sort of terrorist plot in Prague that is anticipated to cause the death of multiple world leaders, including the President of the Czech Republic and the former US Secretary of State.  But the storytelling technique used is not common in today's literary world.

    For example, Point “A” - two men with guns are approaching a pair of gentlemen guarding a locked door.  Point “B” - those same two men gentlemen are dumping a pair of deceased former guards in an unmarked grave.  The reader is left to make the determination as to what happened between Point “A” and Point “B” - to connect the dots.  It's not hard to make an accurate determination.  However, it may not be comfortable for some readers.  

    In evaluating this style, and the novel that employed it, I fell somewhere in between the “loved it” and “hated it”.  I really appreciated that the author did not feel to employ excessive words & pages to detail things that are obvious.  On the other hand, I thought that I would have preferred a little more detail in some cases than the author chose to provide.

    The plot itself was interesting, and the book itself proved to be a quick read.  I encourage the reader to give it a try – even if they hate the style, they will at least expose themselves to something rare.

    RATING: 3 stars.

    DISCLOSURE: I won this book in an online contest from a book blogger, under condition that I post an honest review within 60 days of receipt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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