January 1, 2012

With Deepest Regrets: A Memoir Alive- by Robin Michael Smith

My husband has been in the military for quite a while, and being a military wife, I approached this book with eagerness and excitement. I love reading military memoirs and I wanted to add this one to the top of my favorites list. This book was advertised as a memoir of a US Army sniper who was sent on a secret mission to assassinate Saddam Hussein. I wanted to love it; I wanted to be enraptured by each and every word and while I fell in love with Robin, both as a man and a soldier, this book just did not measure up.

Before I get to the list of things I did not like about this book, I must say that I was mesmerized by the middle of Smith’s novel. The retelling of his mission was done with eloquence and vivid detail. But this was the only part of the book that kept me reading. Every other page left me with disappointment, and I honestly did not want to finish the book.

I believe that Smith has a great storyline; I just feel the novel needs refinement and editing. The beginning of the book details his childhood and his abusive stepfather. I wanted more detail, more stories that dealt with this part of his life. The few he did tell, completely disturbed me but I enjoyed peering into his soul. I understand that these emotions are still raw, but I believe with some editing and more detail, the beginning of With Deepest Regrets would be transformed into a captivating novel.

The end of the novel also confuses me. I realize that since Smith is still alive and dealing with these emotions that there is no definite end to the story. However, adding in the emails between him and the publisher proved unnecessary. I did not need to know his struggle to get published since every novice author has to face these obstacles. Also, he glazes over the fact that his stepfather died. I want to know more about his emotions, his struggle with this discovery. I wanted to feel closer to Smith and yet I was confused with his journey after he survived his mission in Iraq. I wanted facts, emotions, and plot and instead was served a jumble of words that did not tie the story together.

This story has potential and even with the unfocused plot, grammatical errors, and stagnant ending, With Deepest Regrets was not a complete disaster. I sympathize with Smith’s struggle to come to terms with his mission and the death of his partner. I cannot imagine the obstacles he has faced and has yet to overcome. However, this book needs some desperate help from an editor.

2 stars

*I received a free copy of the book for review. These are my honest and true opinions.
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  1. I could not disagree more with the above review. I have just completed the book and was mesmerised by each page. It is his story and should not be changed--no editor lived it as Robin did. I loved it and love Robin for writing it.

  2. it is a memoir, not a novel.


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