In the first half of the novel the reader is treated to a condensed history of the Vietnam War and the Balkan Wars, all from the strictly American point of view. Then in the second half the good guys spring into action to bring order to the world, with the main hero making "Death Wish" look like a masterpiece. While the nationality of the bad guy is well established, his place of hiding has to be a fictitious country, lest any of the allies be offended. This makes the final showdown as preposterous as any in a James Bond novel, but without the attendant fun. Admittedly, the plot is reasonably exciting and there are some interesting insights, but it is told in a very dull reporter-like tone, with no significant female characters and no psychological depth. The story cries for someone like Morris West for the proper treatment.
This is really good and worth the read
One of the best of Forsythe's later books, almost up to the impossible standard set by The Fourth Protocol. Forsythe's device of making characters encounter each other a second or third time after many years and in new contexts is here exploited to the max, with highly gratifying effect. Forsythe manages to intelligently, realistically portray brutal violence to suit the purpose of the story, without it dominating the story or becoming simply gratuitous and low-brow. This one is very much a story for our times, connecting the Viet Nam experience and the Balkan War with our present-day situation where war criminals sometimes contrive to escape justice and even enjoy the fruits of their ill-deeds -- until one of Forsythe's heroes catches up with them!
Great audio CD! A bit confusing at times towards the beginning as the story goes from 1995 to 2001 to the 1960's to 1975 and back to 2001. Many intriguing threads come together to make for a great story. For me, when you have a novel with all this excitement the ending is huge and can make or break the story. The ending on this one--probably the last two to three sentences--make this novel all worth while! I don't give a 10 out of 10 very often, and right up to the end I was at an 8 out of 10, but the ending on this one earned the book a 10!! Well done, Mr. Forsyth!!
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