The Fifth Profession is an interesting novel. It’s part espionage thriller and part sci-fi. The crux of the story is that Savage, a former Navy SEAL and executive protector on an assignment to rescue the wife of a wealthy businessman, encounters his Japanese counterpart, Akira, who he saw die when they were serving on an assignment together. Akira has the same memories, except he saw Savage die. They get together and piece together their jumbled memories and find out that many of the things they remembered didn’t actually happen. This leads them back to Akira’s homeland of Japan, where the mystery ensues.
I found this novel to be intriguing. The mystery component was captivating, and I wanted to see how it unfolded. There was action galore with plenty of fight scenes and some chases. It works at that level even without the added element of the jumbled memories. That part of the novel was problematic however, since the false memories storyline really strained believability. To further exacerbate the issue, the author never really explains in any detailed or believable way how the two main characters got their false memories. It was all kind of wave your hand behind the curtains hocus pocus type stuff. Although there was lots of good action, I thought the fight scenes could have been executed a little better. Getting past that, I thought the novel delivered. I was entertained from beginning to end.