THE FIST OF GOD by Frederick Forsyth


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 Readers who are intrigued by behind-the-scenes machinations of the Gulf War can eavesdrop on the major players as well as some fictional creations in this workmanlike thriller from the author of The Day of the Jackal (1971) and The Odessa File (1972). Saddam Hussein has invaded Kuwait, and the British send Mike Martin of the elite Special Air Services into deep cover in Kuwait City on an intelligence-gathering mission. Martin speaks fluent Arabic and, with his dark hair and eyes, easily carries off his disguise as a poor Bedouin. With aplomb, he establishes a network of informers and molds young Kuwaiti resistance fighters into a fearsome terrorist unit. But the Allies need the kind of information they can get from only one source--the long-untapped Iraqi mole, code-named Jericho, who is one of Saddam Hussein's inner circle. The British recall Martin and assign him to Baghdad for the dangerous job of reestablishing contact with Jericho. All goes well until Jericho comes up with a nugget of information so unlikely that the Allies think they are being duped and order Martin to close down the operation. From there, the pace quickens as the Allies belatedly discover the truth of the intelligence--and realize their desperate need to act on it. The novel ends in a blaze of top-notch military action, finely wrought descriptions of the gadgetry of destruction, and a twisty revelation of Jericho's identity. Despite some lingering loose ends and a trail of extraneous coincidence, The Fist of God--with its mix of secret war councils, confidential memos, super sleuthing, and military fireworks--should satisfy die-hard fans of espionage yarns. (Book-of-the-Month Club main selection)

Pub Date: May 16th, 1994
ISBN: 0-553-09126-3
Page count: 560pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994


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