From Publishers Weekly
Set in the very near future, veteran Forsyth's latest isn't quite up to the level of The Day of the Jackal
or his more recent Fist of God
, but it's a cut above most other post-9/11 spy thrillers. The threat of a catastrophic assault on the West, discovered on a senior al-Qaeda member's computer, compels the leaders of the U.S. and the U.K. to attempt a desperate gambit—to substitute a seasoned British operative, Col. Mike Martin, for an Afghan Taliban commander being held prisoner at Guantánamo Bay and then arrange Martin's release into Afghan custody. Martin must maintain his cover under the closest scrutiny, even as the details of the planned outrage are kept beyond his reach. Despite the choice to have Porter Goss as CIA director at the end of 2006 and some nick-of-time Hollywood heroics, Forsyth convincingly conjures up the world of counterterrorism and offers an all-too plausible terrorist plot. 250,000 printing. (Aug.)
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In Forsyth's latest novel, British and American intelligence forces learn of an impending al-Qaeda terrorist strike. However, they don't know exactly when or where the strike will take place. Their solution: to have one of their own officers infiltrate the terrorist group, posing as one of its own. It's an inventive story, and Forsyth spins it eloquently and with enough nail-biting suspense to leave readers' fingertips raw. One of the masters of the political thriller, Forsyth writes with a bare-bones, reportorial style that makes his stories feel as realistic as anything one might read in the daily newspaper. He set the standard for political thrillers with 1971's Day of the Jackal,
and, although he has myriad competitors today, no one else has managed to make the very flatness of the documentarian's style an effective instrument for generating tension. Forsyth's name doesn't draw a crowd the way it used to, but this one deserves the attention of those who read such modern espionage masters as Daniel Silva. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved