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[29.08.03] The Avenger is a new thriller by Frederick Forsyth, about a Vietnam veteran using his experience to track down criminals and bringing them to justice.

[15.06.03] Greed, a new thriller from Chris Ryan, was released on June 5th 2003. Ex-SAS Matt Browning, desperately broke, is hired by the MI5 to form a team to part al-Queda from some of their money. The hi-jacking goes according to plan, but then things start to go seriously wrong... Fast action, but the characters are a bit cardboard. I read it all in one setting, though, so it can't be bad.

[30.04.03] Pre-order Dark Winter - Andy McNab's latest book, to be released on November 6th 2003.

[03.10.02] Liberation Day - A new Nick Stone-thriller from Andy McNab.

NEW in Crime and Suspense:
P. D. James with a new Dalgliesh crime novel: The Lighthouse
John le Carré The Mission Song
Ruth Rendell: End in Tears
Ian Rankin: The Naming Of The Dead
Robert Goddard: Never Go Back
John Grisham: The Innocent Man

Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth started his career as a journalist, and some of his thrillers are based upon experiences from his journalistic career.

His first book, The Biafra Story, was an account of the civil war in Nigeria, with the province of Biafra trying to establish itself as a separate nation.

After this book, he started writing hugely successful thrillers:

  • The Day of the Jackal, a fictional account of an attempt to assassinate the French president de Gaulle, in the aftermath of the Algerian war.
  • The Odessa File about an German underground organization taking care of former SS members - and the risks inherent in exposing them.
  • The Dogs of War, describing how a mining tycoon plans to gain mineral rights by taking over the whole country. Rumour has it that Forsyth himself was involved in a similar operation, though with nobler goals, elsewhere in Africa.
  • The Shepherd, a story based upon Forsyth's experiences as a RAF pilot. A routine flight turns into nightmare when everything starts to go wrong.
  • The Devil's Alternative Hunger in the USSR, terrorists and a situation where any decision will mean a catastrophe somewhere, for someone.
  • No Comebacks is a collection of Forsyth's short stories.
  • The Fourth Protocol in which Kim Philby in his Sovjet exile hatches a plan to control British elections and the British premier.
  • The Negotiator - someone tries to force the President of the United States out of office.
  • The Deceiver is a old hand in the intelligence game, maybe to be disposed of as the end of the Cold War has come about. Four episodes from his career shows how useful his competence has been - and may become.
  • The Fist of God is set as a background to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991.
  • Icon is set in a modern, post-Glasnost Russia on the verge of collapse. Western powers try to stop a modern fascist from becoming president.
  • The Phantom of Manhattan is not a thriller, but a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.
  • The Veteran is a new collection of Forsyth's short stories.
  • The Avenger is a Vietnam veteran, using his experience to track down criminals and bringing them to justice.

The Avenger is a Vietnam veteran, living a quiet life as a lawyer in a small US town, but occasionally using his experience, hiring out himself and his competence. When the grandchild of a Canadian mining tycoon disappears in Serbia, the tycoon wants the man responsible brought to justice. Forsyth tells the story of the Avenger working himself into a position to seek revenge. While a competent thriller, this novel does not come into the same league as Forsyth's earliest books. It hasn't got the nerve of The Day of the Jackal, nor does the Avenger have the personal motivation that makes The Odessa File and The Dogs of War such good reads. The story of meticolous preparation from these books are to be found here, too, but it just isn't enough to make it a "must" for anyone but a Forsyth fan.


[30.04.03]A must for the reader of modern crime novels, The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction gives a encyclopedic view of post-war crime fiction. For non-English readers it is a drawback that very little non-English material is included, but it is a great fountain of facts about English language authors. Its scope is strictly crime, leaving thrillers out - it still fills 780 pages, so you'll have more than enough to read.
More Mammoth Encyclopedias or Mammoth Books of a surprisingly wide range of subjects - Erotic photography, Shaggy Dog stories, Murder and Science and so on....

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