By Frederick Forsyth
To counter the plot, the CIA must recruit an inside Al Quaida agent... This is where The Afgan comes in. Mike Martin, stereotypically reluctant ex-army agent, half-Indian and brought up in pre-Hussain Iraq.
This is a man's book, preoccupied with plot, subterfuge, concealment, deception and detail. It's also an education in the origins, philosophy and methods of Islamic terrorism and its western counterparts.
Forsyth is a right-winger who believes in the right of agencies like the CIA and M15. He believes that western Prime Ministers and Presidents have the interests of their citizens at heart; the agents, agencies and politicians in The Afgan behave exactly as you would want them to. This is the book's biggest failing: the Islamic terrorists are all bad, the spymasters and politicians are all good - a rather simplistic view of the world, and not one which makes for a thought-provoking read, however interesting, gripping, educational and entertaining the book is.
But, overall, and despite the fictionally angelic leaders, a satisfying read.