I will start putting these up as I get them (or find them). To date I have had a few, some good, so not as good, but I’ll post them all. I am only listing initials and surnames for privacy purposes.
"Quite interesting. A real page turner you can't put down. If you don't like Big High Tech organizations; if you don't understand the ins and outs of governments who are supposed to help you when you're in need; if you're intrigued by back-stabbing officials in high standings in the military then you must read the horror and viciousness of these so called friends in high places. One Man's journey into the madness and cesspool of deceit: Without malice and forethought. A must read story!"
R. Austin on Amazon.com
I’m not sure what to think?
“I purchased this book under the impression that it was fiction, but on reading it, the book reads like a verbally embellished journal. I found this a little confusing so I looked at the author’s web site and saw that there is a large amount of factual information and documentation in relation to a couple of incidents in the book. More confused than ever, I contacted the author who told me that the book was eventually going to placed where he says it should be, under non fiction and autobiography. On the book itself and the story, it seems one of those “must read” accounts as it involves a pretty normal person, the author, becoming something else altogether due to his exposure to a series of extraordinary circumstance. The book is quite interesting and at times disturbing, but it does calm down to almost boring towards the end (the author could take some of that out or make it a little more interesting, but as I said, the book is written like a verbose journal to make it more story-like I imagine). There is a central character obviously, a number of protagonists and a “non-plot” which follows the life of the main character and his involvement with military, governments and criminally inclined business owners. After talking with the author, if I were to classify this book as to genre, I would have to say I agree with Non Fiction - Autobiography or possibly exposť and I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5, 4.0 to 4.5 if the author makes material changes to the last 4 chapters.”
T. Johnston, California
With Malice and Forethought - Is it real or is it fiction?
from Jenny N
Strengths: There is an awful lot of factual information in this book about government and the military technology used by South Africa plus it's very direct and too the point.
Weaknesses: There are so many characters in the book, you almost need a reference index to keep track, even if their characters are well explained.
Summary: When I sat down and started reading this book, I thought I would just read it in my spare time (as I have an interest in South African affairs since I was born there), but that didn't happen. I picked it up and found that I was reading it at every free moment. The book is quite long at 600+ pages and I went through it in 5 days. It's about a character named Dave who gets involved with the military in South Africa designing weapons systems during the apartheid regime. The book is broken into two parts, South Africa first followed by Canada.
The author explains in the book how and why the security fences were designed and built while giving day to accounts on his activities, so it's quite human actually and it's written first person (my father in-law thinks he knows the author). Then Dave gets involved with increasingly serious projects involving the war with Angola which eventually leads to the Helderberg crash of 1987 and arms deals between the US and Iraq/ All the time in the book he is explaining interactions and attitudes in South Africa. Eventually Dave gets fed up with the corruption and killing, so he quits and tries to leave South Africa, but the Canadian government almost gets his entire family killed while he is making his exit.
Its a little repetitive at the beginning of the second part, in which Dave returns to what is supposed to be a normal life in a normal country. That doesn't seem the case for long as he is drawn into situation with a private sector company involved with universities and the Canadian government. The private sector company commits over $100m in tax frauds and Dave is ostresized and removed for not going along with the crime. During this part of the book, the private sector company is trying to manipulate him in whenever way they can, using money, shares and women. It's kind of nasty actually and eventually goes through settlements and breaches and legal activity which finally resolves Dave's interest in the company but leaves him losing millions.
The character I liked the best, apart from the main characters was Teddy in South Africa, he seemed like a warm but direct person who like Dave, would help almost anyone with anything. The character I hated the most was Natalia, she was almost unbelievably animated, pretencious and downright nasty. The character I felt the worst for was Ericka, she seemed so frustrated and lost, going from one horrible situation to another and then making the mistake of venting her anger in the wrong direction.
The story scared me at times, it made me laugh and it made me cry. Even though it seems written a little 'dry' as far as flowery language, it's direct, too the point and as a personal history I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I'm reading it a second time right now.
Jenny_N on OSTG.com
This was a strange book
First of all, it is listed as fiction but reads like the autobiography of a person directly involved with the South African and Canadian governments. Which brings me to a question, is this really fiction or is the author just trying to protect himself from legal problems? On the book's main website it is almost stated that it's non-fiction with just the names changed. What's it all about? The main character Dave starts out pretty normal, losses a bunch of money because of the Canadian government and decides to leave the country. He ends up in South Africa and gets involved with the military. Then it really starts getting messy and bloody at times, there are however some lighter moments, comical actually involving his associates. Dave explains the workings of the lethal electrified fences in South Africa, much of which he designed, that are in use on the borders and the military bases. Working for Armscor indirectly at first, he is approached by them to develop a weapon for use in the Angolan War. Around this time the Helderberg is destroyed while carrying weapons and raw materials for Dave's project, this appears a major setback. His associates then get involved in arms trade between the US and Iraq, selling weapons to Saddam for the invasion of Kuwait. Dave, not wanting to deal with the corruption and the dirty business anymore decides to leave South Africa and asks the Canadian Consul for help, he refuses, which puts Dave and family in harm's way. Of course it doesn't help that Armscor tries to kill him once he is in Europe, but he escapes the attempt. Back in Canada he is expecting normalcy and it's pretty much that way for the first 30 pages of the second half of the book. Then Dave gets involved as a partner in a company that is trying to buy up his technology. Once the big money comes in, they screw him over, but not without serious amounts of manipulation, first using a woman in the states to distract him from what is really going on. Since Dave doesn't want to commit tax and public funds fraud with them, they oppress his shareholder status and the legal battles begin with the manipulation still running in the background. They threaten his wife and kids, it just gets ugly and dirty. Eventual, they all settle and things calm down, but just when you think it's going to get normal, the company breaches, start playing more games and it's all right back into courts and lawyers again. There appear to be a lot of big players in the book, that range from dirty lawyers to government ministers and university chairmans and provosts. What I found a funny was how the criminals investigated themselves, as an example a department head at the university investigating himself for wrongdoing. Isn't that called a conflict of interest? There's a lot of situations like that in the book. From a technical vantage, the book explains the equipment used in many areas of South African defense as well as how to commit huge tax frauds with the Canadian government and get away with it! If the book is truth, then the author knows way too much and I imagine eventually all this will show up in a newspaper, or the courts, or a movie (it seems the real life, stranger than fiction kind of stuff movies are made of).
About With Malice And Foerthought - My Perspective 01/06/2007
Reviewer: A viewer from Whitby, Ontario US
Extremely interesting/unusual book, reads like a non-fiction autobiography. There are so many real events that can be traced back, it made me to look at things from a different perspective. It was great read and as soon as my wife finishes reading it, I am going to read it again. This book worried me because the story felt so real, I have investments and am asking questions now about shareholder agreements and investment limits. It made me feel anxious, I know how governments work and on the US/Iraq arms deal, who was in office in 88, Bush Sr. wasn’t it? And who’s there now? There is the section on the Helderberg, I have to wonder about this, so I looked it up on the internet and what the author explained is plausible, actually it's likely according to the available data. The story starts by telling you about Dave and that he was normal in the beginning. He ends up in South Africa working for Armscor through Daltronics. There's a lot of intrigue, it was pretty bloody at times but there are funny parts. There is technical info about the electric fences, military bases and borders and a lot of day to day stuff between the nasty and comical, then you get a bomb dropped on you about the Helderberg crash and stuff on the US/Iraq arms deal. Dave eventually escapes and goes back to Canada but his government almost gets his family killed in the process. He works in Canada, meets up with a company named Powermaster and his life is looking better, but it's short lived. Powermaster makes some dirty deals with the help of government ministers, brokers and universities, get away with what looks like a $100m tax fraud and start manipulating Dave with cars and women to divert his attention from what is happening, he’s being removed, then the legal battles start. The company welches on their agreements and it’s back to court, then the company gets a grant for $50m using Dave’s technology. It gets messy, but the reasons for all the manipulation and subterfuge are all explained.
From Harry W. Schwartz Books
People who bought the book in my store or through the site
”Great book! Lots of intrigue, action, drama. Characters were very believable. Much insight into what South Africa was like and how all countries and people can be corrupted. My only problems reading the book was the number of characters, there are so many, but the 2 main characters are throughout the entire book. I’d give it an 8/10.”
Fascinating reading…really showed how people can change when money and power is involved. Really felt empathy for the Ericka character and was actually appalled at how selfish Dave could be. Glad to see he came to his senses in the end and saw what a callous bitch Natalia was. I really disliked that character, but I guess maybe that was the author’s intent. Good job. 9/10.
Very interesting reading, not real fond of the sex parts though. A little graphic. But all in all, a book I would recommend. 7/10.
This would make a great movie….but you would have to find a real nasty person for the Natalia part. The Farmer character seemed like a real tool and the Littleman guy was pretty nasty. Jack Meoffs seemed the type of lawyer you would really want to avoid.
I didn’t realize that Canada could be that corrupt. I thought we were luckier than the rest of the world. I guess not. When’s the sequel? 10/10.
Couldn’t put this one down!! Some of the characters I loved, some I hated, some I felt sorry for. I loved Teddy, he seemed like a nice guy but trapped by his position. The Stephan character seemed very cold and nasty. Some of the female characters seemed kinda trampy, but the Natalia one took the prize for “Bitch of the Year”. All the good looks in the world couldn’t make this character look good!!!! But I enjoyed how she got it back in the end. The Farmer, Littleman, Meoffs characters et al were a a great bunch of losers. May I make a suggestion, if this becomes a movie, how about that guy who played Harold in Stephen King’s The Stand for Farmer and someone who can play a really evil woman, like Demi Moore for Natalia? Can’t wait till it becomes a movie. 8/10.
Great book from beginning to end. A little bit of technical stuff, but it still kept my interest. Some real winners in this book. Wouldn’t want to run into them in a dark alley or a brothel (re: Natalia). Just kidding, maybe not. Opened my eyes to some things I didn’t realize went on in this world. 7/10.
What a read….can’t help wonder if this is fiction or non-fiction. If it’s non-fiction, this is really scary. Some characters were endearing even if mislead, like Teddy and Victoria. Some were just downright nasty, like the gang that consisted of Meoffs, Farmer, Littleman, Weiss etc. and of course Natalia, what a piece of work. I’m not sure how Ericka endured all that. Me, I would’ve kicked Natalia’s butt right outta town. It’s hard to believe there is that much corruption in good ole Canada, the great White North. Start working on the next one, Dave! 9/10.
So glad I bought this one. I’ve heard a lot about apartheid and corruption in South Africa and the white government and I’ve done some checking on the internet. In the book, Dave seems to be involved in two very high profile situations concerning the US-Iraqi Arms trade and the Helderberg. Both of these events can be researched on the internet. I researched it and according to the timing and Dave’s position in the book with the South African military, it seems a bit too close to what could be the truth. Unfortunately he hasn’t named names. It’s surprising that he and his family made it out of the country and back to Canada considering the Canadian Consul seemed to have set him up and Armscor didn’t want him to leave, alive anyway. But once he got back to Canada, he seemed to be a magnet for the wrong kind of people because he picked up 4 more of them. This bunch though, didn’t use guns, they used universities and government ministers and skanky females and manipulation and extortion to get what they wanted. It would be interesting to see this as a movie because it has more action than something like “The Insider” and more dramatic situations. I would recommend this one to anyone who likes a good book you can’t put down. 8.5/10
It reads like an autobiography, almost like a journal. I like to see more descriptions, less dialogue. The South African parts were more interesting for me as they covered a wide range of topics and locations. I didn’t like the amount of death and some of the parts explaining killings and torture were a little too brutal, even though I can understand it happens, in any wartime situation which is what I guess it was there at the time. Once the main character, Dave is back in Canada, it’s a little dry at first, but it heats up fairly quickly once Natalia is introduced. I didn’t like her much, she was all sweet and syrupy at first and then did anything to get her hooks in. The corruption in the story in Canada could be real as I have been stung by stockbrokers before that didn’t tell the whole story and I can certainly see Government Ministers and universities being involved especially after the likes of Mulroney, Cretien and Paul Martin. Even though there were parts that I didn’t like, I would still give it a 7/10 simply because it appears real and kept my interest throughout the whole book.
As a fictional autobiography, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, however I would have liked to have seen more detail on the Helderberg plane crash and the US-Iraqi arms deal, even though in both cases the book does make a point. These were my primary areas of interest. Being former military myself, I could see from other information in the book on defensive systems that the author must have been heavily involved with the South African Military and Armscor, or he must have had a serious contact on the inside. His information on the ammunition depots and border systems are spot on. I also understand the covert nature of our military during the time Dave writes, it was intense and we did have serious problems during the Angolan conflict, there were few solutions and if one were provided, Armscor would have jumped at the opportunity. In the second half of the book, the corporate corruption is readily apparent. In a way, I am surprised at the manner in which Canada’s tax agency is portrayed and deals with this problem, would they really just sweep away $150 million in frauds under the rug just because of a few ministers and a university? And with all of the personal, corporate and ‘legal’ (but unethical) manipulations, if this were all true, I would wonder how Dave even maintained enough sanity to write this book. I have to ask, is this fiction or non-fiction? Can you name names? I am sure there are a lot of people who would be interested in knowing who not to bank with, broker with or trust. Either way, I give it a 10 out 10 because, even though it spans about 15 years, the book and story are consistent and there is a rational flow between South Africa and Canada., many of the subjects concerning South Africa I know are accurate and the story kept my interest because I knew of a few of the events from direct experience and information from within the SA military. I don’t often read a book that is this long in 4 days, but this one I did, I had no choice, I wanted to know what happened next and I want more.
C. Van Der Merve (Maj. Retired)
PS. Post a more detailed description of the Helderberg crash on your site if you can, I believe from the content of the book that you know things you are not telling!