The Fist of God

( 9 )

Overview

From the bestselling author of The Day of the Jackal, international  master of intrigue Frederick Forsyth, comes a thriller that brilliantly  blends fact with fiction for one of this summer's—or any season's—most  explosive reads!

From the behind-the-scenes decision-making of the Allies to the secret meetings of Saddam Hussein's war cabinet, from the brave American fliers running their dangerous missions over Iraq to the heroic young spy planted ...

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Overview

From the bestselling author of The Day of the Jackal, international  master of intrigue Frederick Forsyth, comes a thriller that brilliantly  blends fact with fiction for one of this summer's—or any season's—most  explosive reads!

From the behind-the-scenes decision-making of the Allies to the secret meetings of Saddam Hussein's war cabinet, from the brave American fliers running their dangerous missions over Iraq to the heroic young spy planted deep in the heart of Baghdad, Forsyth's incomparable storytelling skill keeps the suspense at a breakneck pace.  Somewhere in Baghdad is the mysterious "Jericho," the traitor who is willing—for a price—to reveal what is going on in the high councils of the Iraqi dictator.  But Saddam's ultimate weapon has been kept secret even from his most trusted advisers, and the nightmare scenario that haunts General Schwarzkopf and his colleagues is suddenly imminent, unless somehow, the spy can locate that weapon—The Fist of God—in time.

Peopled with vivid characters, brilliantly displaying Forsyth's incomparable, knowledge of intelligence operations and tradecraft, moving back and forth between Washington and London, Baghdad and Kuwait, desert vastnesses and city bazaars, this breathtaking novel is an utterly convincing story of what may actually have happened behind the headlines.

The author of such classics as The Day of the Jackal returns with a seamless blending of the real and the imagined, of political assassination and high-tech military might, set behind the scenes of the Gulf War. As coalition forces ready for battle against the Iraqi Army, a Western spy in Baghdad seeks a mysterious traitor named Jericho, who may hold the key to locating Saddam Hussein's secret weapon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Frederick Forsyth combines fact and fiction in The Fist of God...but [he] never forgets that he is writing a novel...Excitement without hysteria and plenty of credible action."
The New York Times Book Review

"[An] incredible, imaginative mind...master of international intrigue."
—Larry King

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A British agent discovers Saddam Hussein has a secret weapon in this latest thriller from the author of The Day of the Jackal. (Aug.)
Library Journal
In yet another espionage thriller from the best-selling author of The Fourth Protocol (Viking, 1984), the good guys are out to prevent Saddam Hussein from using a most powerful weapon.
Joe Collins
Why was Saddam Hussein so confident in the face of U.S. and UN military might? Did he perhaps have a secret weapon to unleash on the armies defending Kuwait? Espionage-master Forsyth ("The Day of the Jackal") raises such questions in his intriguing new novel, in which Saddam (who appears throughout at meetings of his Cabinet) does not seem to mind if thousands of his people are killed in battle. He's banking on the American and British traditional abhorrence of casualties. British brothers Mike and Terry Martin are experts in spying, and since Mike can easily pass for an Arab, he goes undercover, first into Kuwait, and then, in a particularly bold move, into Baghdad itself. Terry handles the organization of an elaborate mission to find Saddam's secret weapon, dubbed the fist of God. The information about the weapon comes to them from Jericho, a highly connected source in Saddam's inner circle. Meanwhile, a dowdy Viennese bank secretary is wined and dined by an Israeli spy posing as an Arabic student in order to get at her boss' vital information and cash. As usual, Forsyth's research is impeccable; his characters, though thinly drawn (Mike Martin is something of a superman), are winning; his cameos of world leaders such as Bush, Thatcher, Schwarzkopf, Gorbachev, and Saddam himself help put the behind-the-scenes war in context; and Forsyth's ending, despite the obvious coalition victory, still offers a spectacular surprise.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553572421
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 365,153
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The staff indulged him, that Helene was just a good friend, keeping him company while he was in Brussels and his wife was in Canada.

He climbed out of the car, the collar of his belted trench coat turned up as ever, and hefted onto his shoulder the big black canvas bag that hardly ever left him. It weighed over fifteen kilograms and contained a mass of papers: scientific papers, projects, calculations, and data. The scientist distrusted safes and thought illogically that all the details of his latest projects were safer hanging from his shoulder.

The last Monique saw of her employer, he was standing in front of the glass doors, his bag over one shoulder, the loaf under the other arm, fumbling for his keys. She watched him go through the doors and the self-locking plate glass swing closed behind him. Then she drove off.

The scientist lived on the sixth floor of the eight-story building. Two elevators ran up the back wall of the building, encircled by the stairs, with a fire door on each landing. He took one of them and stepped out at the sixth floor. The dim, floor-level lights of the lobby came on automatically as he did so. Still jangling his keys, leaning against the weight of his bag, and clutching his loaf, he turned left and left again across the russet-brown carpet and tried to fit his key into the lock of his apartment door.

The killer had been waiting on the other side of the elevator shaft, which jutted into the dimly lit lobby. He came quietly around the shaft holding his silenced 7.65-mm. Beretta automatic, which was wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent the ejected cartridges from spilling all over the carpet.

Five shots, fired from less than a one-meter range into the back of the head and neck, were more than enough. The big, burly man slumped forward against his door and slithered to the carpet. The gunman did not bother to check; there was no need. He had done this before, practicing on prisoners, and he knew his work was done. He ran lightly down the six flights of stairs, out of the back of the building, across the tree-studded gardens, and into the waiting car. In an hour he was inside his country's embassy, in a day out of Belgium.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    A book to be read

    This book is an excellent insight into what might have happened in persian gulf war. The characters Maj Mike Martin and Jericho affair stay in mind. The trade of espionage was portrayed brilliantly that anyone could understand even complex handling of the situations. As like any Forsyth's book, the suspense does more than exist and ultimately explodes taking our breath away. One exhilarating reading experience you would love to have in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    Confusing but Interesting

    The Fist of God starts out with a buildup of suspense when we learn that Kuwait is about to be invaded by Iraq. As we are introduced to president Saddam Hussein as well as president bush, it becomes obvious that this is a story about the Persian Gulf War. The story only has these factual people that are well known in the beginning, but quickly jumps over to various different characters that, if are factual, are not famous. With these behind-the-scenes-characters, we are given a better idea of what happened in the Gulf war as far as worries and fears. You could probably call a character named Mike Martin, who is an agent from Great Britain, the main character of the story. There are a lot of other characters that are all introduced aside from Mike, and it often becomes hard to follow and complex with the amount of characters. But the basic idea is that Mike Martin is in Kuwait helping the Kuwaiti resistance to get trained up for when the Iraqis invade. But he gets called back in to London because the agency needs him to relocate a mole code-named ¿Jericho¿ that had been leaking information to them and is now lost. As the war starts, Mike martin with the British as well as elite members of the US try to locate this mole. Throughout the course of the novel, they pick up little hints about a secret weapon that Saddam Hussein has under wraps that he calls The Fist of God. They found useful information now, but now they just have to know what to do with it. The book does a good job at building up suspense and making you worry about what is going to happen along with the characters. I found it confusing through most of it and sometimes boring, but I couldn¿t help but be fascinated by the things that I didn¿t know about the war or what happened in it. It is a good book if you want to meat some of the people that did all the undercover work and behind-the-scenes working in The Persian Gulf War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2002

    Absolutely Incredible

    The Fist of God is an incredible novel that takes you deep behind what really went on during the Gulf War. Its incredible insight really probes ones imagination, penetrating through the events that the blind media never covered; the secret service agencies operations and their involvement. As a fanatic of British SAS non-fiction, this book ranks among one of the best stories that i've ever read. Its intriguing plot has many twist and turns, taking you from country to country, while probing your mind to really question the actions taken. Look no further, The Fist of God is a highly intellectual and sophisticated novel, that will make you sit down afterwards and reflect on the hardships and tremendous courage that these brave men of the SAS do for a living -for our freedom. After knowing what REALLY hapenned behind enemy lines, the dedication page brought a respectful tear to my eye after completing the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2001

    Edge of Your Seat Thriller with Fascinating Plot!

    Before commenting, let me indicate that I am reviewing the abridged audio cassette version of this book performed by Mr. Simon Jones. This audio cassette version clearly deserves more than five stars. It is the most enjoyable one that I have ever listened to. In addition, this is my favorite of the Forsyth novels. Frederick Forsyth is a masterful plotter. In this case, he has woven a story that unusual complexity with delicate balance of perspectives using real details. I remember reading about everything mentioned in this book in some press report related to the Gulf War against the Iraqis after the invasion of Kuwait. The plot is so well done that it will add new depths to your understanding of the political considerations that played such a large role in the Gulf War. If government studies were written as interestingly as this novel is, all college students would be government majors. There is fascinating technology in the story, but the novel is reined in by large doses of realism that make the material more interesting for its relevance. If you are like me, you have often wondered about the following questions: (1) Why did Saddam Hussein survive the successful prosecution of the war by the allies? (2) How might target planners determine where weapons of mass destruction were being developed and housed? (3) Why did Saddam Hussein prepare so poorly for the U.S.-led attack? (4) Why did the Iraqis stop with Kuwait, when the more attractive target of Saudi Arabia lay just ahead essentially undefended? Mr. Forsyth offers a number of plausible and interesting possible answers to these and other questions you surely have had and may still have. To me, the drawback of a Forsyth novel is that they can become bogged down in too much detail. Foreign names can also quickly cause the eyes to glaze over as well. You will be pleased to know that this abridgement (approved by Mr. Forsyth) overcomes both of those potential problems. The elegant plot is tautly maintained, and moves along rapidly. Mr. Jones takes all of the tongue-twisting, unfamilar names and pronounces them in accented ways that capture the lyricism inherent in the various Middle Eastern and European cultures displayed here. I have only one complaint. Unfortunately, Mr. Jones chose to characterize many Americans as 'cowboys' so those characters' raw, harsh accents will be the least attractive to listen to for you. Some of the most interesting aspects of the book for me included Major Mike Morgan's (of Britain's Special Air Service) operations behind enemy lines in Kuwait and Iran, the psychology of the inner council that served Saddam Hussein, the complicity of Western sources in making dangerous weapons available to the Iraqis, the methods by which many different types of intelligence sources can be used to build a composite picture of an issue, the morality of trying to save lives in combat, and the political agendas of the Americans. Israelis will find the operations of the Mossad described in ways that are highly complimentary about that country's intelligence operations. One of the really intriguing thoughts you will have after reading this book is what secrets

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2001

    Spellbinding as fiction, a punch in the solar plexus as fact

    Forsyth has always been first among equals in writing thrillers, chiefly because of his painstaking research. While maybe not quite a poetic as Ludlum, his stories are more believable. After you read the book, go back and read the dedication and author's comments. Then ending will literally bring you out of your seat!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2001

    Very gripping and authenticaly

    I red it in German translation, I can beleve that the story is not very far from truth. Absolute truthful is the last page...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2000

    Great !!!

    I couldn´t put it down. Skillfully writen, the book grips you from page one. The plot is very believeble.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2000

    Intrigue and Action

    This book will hook you. It has a feasable plot and to me at least accurately depicts the secret war of spies. (I'm using Tom Clancy as a reference). The plot has a couple twists, enough to keep you wondering what will happen next. I liked it, and I hope you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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