'Forsyth on top form . . . the master storyteller has lost none of his touch' Daily Mail
'Forsyth's storytelling mastery goes from strength to strength. Don't ever imagine that you know what's going to happen next.' The Mirror
When British and American intelligence catch wind of a major Al Qaeda operation in the works, they are primed for action - but what can they do? They know nothing about the attack: the what, where or when. They have no sources in Al Qaeda, and it's impossible to plant someone. Impossible, unless . . .
The Afghan is Izmat Khan, a five-year prisoner of Guantanamo Bay and a former senior commander of the Taliban. The Afghan is also Colonel Mike Martin, a 25-year veteran of war zones around the world, a dark, lean man born and raised in Iraq. In an attempt to stave off disaster, the intelligence agencies will try to do what no one has ever done before - pass off a Westerner as an Arab among Arabs - pass off Martin as the trusted Khan.
It will require extraordinary preparation, and then extraordinary luck, for nothing can truly prepare Martin for the dark and shifting world he is about to enter. Or for the terrible things he will find there . . .
What readers are saying:
***** I found this book totally absorbing. The action was fast and compelling from page one.'
***** He is the undisputed master of action fiction.'
***** 'Gripping. Intelligent. Fast moving. A real pleasure to read. I read it without stopping.'
Forsyth writes as if preparing for the movie or television miniseries he knows will surely follow. His multiple focus in terms of characters and settings makes for thrilling cinema and engrossing reading, but in an audio version, a global smattering of Afghani, Arabic, Pakistani, British, Indonesian and other names can cause a bout of verbal vertigo. Wise listeners will replay the first CD or at least part of it. Once the characters, ships and locales are in place, the narrative is much easier to follow, despite Forsyth's love of minutiae. Powell plods through the novel with all the enthusiasm of a distracted Oxbridge tutor. His presentation is careful and eloquent but ultimately dull. He doesn't understand the nuances of most accents, including those of the Americans, all of whom have gruff voices. Powell does best with his performance of Colonel Mike Martin, the reluctant hero of this tale. The action, when it comes, is too little and too late to hold one's attention on audio. Powell's lethargic pace inflates this particular flaw in Forsyth's novel. It would be better to read the print version or wait for the film. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, June 5).
The research is the driving force behind Forsyth's work -plot suffers under the groaning weight of yet another researched and inserted fact... A broad brush with diverting forays into shipping and arms... I have read better but nonetheless it was informative and entertaining.