Go to Homepage   Walter Wager: Kelly's People


Crescent Blues Book ViewsTor Books (Hardcover) ISBN 0765301318
Kelly's People follows five organ transplant patients as they recover in a state-of-the-art medical facility that no one knows about, headed by Charlotte Wilson, a woman who doesn't exist in any database or personnel file. If you haven't figured it out already, this is a top-secret government project. The five patients, all experts in the espionage field, all happened to need transplants of different organs at the same time. The whole project rests on the fact that these five spies received organs from one man; a dead Russian spy who could read minds. The top secret government project works under the assumption that having the Russian's organs will give the five access to his extra sensory power.

Book: walter wager, kelly's peopleThe biggest problem with the novel lies in the fact that it could very easily be two novels, each full and interesting in its own right. The first half of the novel follows the patients' recuperation and mind reading training in the medical facility. Here the author builds up the character of Charlotte Wilson by raising many questions about her and her future plans for "the team," as she calls her patients. The man Charlotte calls Denny holds particular interest for her -- professional and otherwise. With more developed abilities than the rest, he emerges as the natural leader. He can read even Charlotte's well-protected thoughts, making him dangerous to the whole operation.

Unfortunately, he never discovers Charlotte's secrets, and neither does the reader. Once the second half of the novel begins and the team leaves the medical facility, the mystery of Kelly's people, as well as the character of Charlotte Wilson, fade into the background.

Book: walter wager, tunnel The second half of the novel follows the convoluted path of an arms deal between a disgruntled Russian General and al Wadi, an Arab zealot intent on the destruction of Western civilization. Pulled out of their recuperation early, the team must avert worldwide nuclear tragedy.

This book would have been better if it split its stories into two different books: one about the team developing their abilities in the hospital and the secret of "Kelly's People," and a second that really explored the arms deal and the team's effort to foil al Wadi's plot. It seems as if the publisher only wanted to spend the money to publish and publicize one book, forcing Wager to cram two manuscripts together. However, this abbreviated style does insure a fast, interesting read, with two very tight plot lines -- though perhaps a little too tight.

Ceridwen S. Lewin

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