Friday, September 6, 2013

An Old Dog, Armed With New Tricks

The Kill List – Frederick Forsyth (Putnam Books)

The cliché is that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” While I am generally of the belief that clichés become clichés because they are true. In the case of veteran thriller author Frederick Forsyth that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When Forsyth scored a hit with his first outing in the thriller realm 42 years ago with 1971’s The Day of the Jackal, the unmanned drone was a thing of science fiction. In his latest entry, The Kill List, Forsyth seamlessly weaves not only modern warfare techniques, but modern technology through out the thriller that works at break neck speed.


While the current crop of thriller maestros like Brad Thor, the late Vince Flynn and Ben Coes serve up character’s that drive their stories and that readers can wrap their arms around, Forsyth relies on the story to drive the bus.

Forsyth introduces the us to The Tracker, a man who’s sole job is to, like his name suggests, track down and then eradicate the enemies of the state. His target this go ‘round is a Jihadist extremist dubbed the Preacher for his online sermonizing, exhorting his internet legion to kill high profile citizens around the globe, not in high profile events, but an anytime, anyplace, anywhere, approach to terror.

The Tracker enlists some high tech support of his own to first locate, then isolate the Preacher before getting down to the task at hand. Like the hope most have that there exists heroes who are out there to protect us, I hope we arm them with the kinds of tools Forsyth details in these pages of this winning thriller.


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