Frederick Forsyth The Afghan Review

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Harriet Klausner's review of Frederick Forsyth The Afghan


“The Afghan ”

Written on: 06/06/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Afghan

Frederick Forsyth

Putnam, Aug 2006, $26.95

ISBN 0399153942

In Jul 2005, the four homegrown fanatical suicide bombers devastated the London commute. When the police thoroughly searched their Leeds homes for clues they found receipts for throwaway cellphones making them traceable. One phone became a gift working its way closer to the inner circle that surrounds the invisible Bin Laden. Over a year later, the cellphone was finally used by senior Al Qaeda operative Abdelahi talking to his brother. The American, British and Pakistani espionage agents track the call to its source and obtain the terrorist's computer.

From that they learn of a new plot to make nine-eleven look like a minor incident, but lack key details. To thwart the scheme, the West comes up with a desperate gambit. Veteran British SAS operative Colonel Mike Martin, who was raised in Iraq, takes the identity of Taliban commander Izmat Khan incarcerated for five years at Guantomino Bay's Delta Camp when they release the "prisoner" to Afghan custody. Martin has doubts he can pull this off though he succeeded once before as an Afghan, but then he was a lowly gardener and now they want him to be an inner circle commander. Still he takes the assignment knowing he will die if exposed, but risks his life to obtain the needed answers to the 5Ws.

THE AFGHAN is a fabulous espionage thriller that grips the audience from the very start with its brief description of the London transit attacks and never slows down until the final confrontation. The story line is action-packed mindful of the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much and Frederick Forsyth's novel THE DAY OF THE JACKAL. Though the exciting climax seems too simple, fans will agree that Mr. Forsyth remains a top thriller author with his strong post nine-eleven tale.

Harriet Klausner

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