Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fist Of God by Frederick Forsyth, reviewed by Vikhyat Khare

The Fist Of God by Frederick Forsyth

Reviewed by
Name: Vikhyat Khare (16 years)
School: DFather Agnel School, Noida

The Fist of god, a 1994 novel by Frederick Forsyth is set behind the scenes of the 1991 Allied- Iraqi gulf war. Though this book like most of Forsyth’s books is rich on technical details, it is written in a highly readable format. Forsyth is known for researching his subject matter thoroughly. The book has knitted real facts and people with a terrific plot. Thus we are presented with a recap of the gulf war. The intricacies of every political and technical detail are written in a way which is easy to understand.
Dr. Gerald Vincent Bull, a Canadian engineer, develops a gun codenamed project Babylon for the Iraqi government. In the starting of the book Dr. Bull is assassinated outside his house in Belgium by Mossad Agents that sets us for a gripping story.
Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait and is unwilling to leave at any cost. This leads to the build up of the largest force of the century on the Iraqi-Arab border. The British SIS sends a SAS man Major Mike Martin, who can pass for an Arab, to Kuwait in a covert operation to help the Kuwaiti resistance and also assess the situation. The medusa committee is formed to find about Iraqi military prowess which finds that Iraq wouldn’t have nuclear weapon by now.
When the allied forces find out about a highly kept asset in Saddam’s inner circle named Jericho who has been feeding information to Israel for money, they send Major Mike Martin to Baghdad under cover of a gardener in a Russian embassy house to run him through the dead letter boxes. Also, a radio interceptor catches a voice mentioning about “Qubth-ut-allah”, The Fist of God. Dr. Terry Martin, an Arabist thinks it’s a deadly weapon. During the Air-strikes, an F-15 pilot destroys an unknown location by mistake which turns out to be having calutrons for refining bomb level uranium. This means that Iraq would have a nuclear bomb by now. Mike Martin finds through Jericho that the bomb can be launched by a 180m long gun called The Fist of God which can rain death and destruction on the allied forces.
In the most dangerous mission of his life Major Mike Martin lands on the Iraqi mountains and lasers the location of The Fist of God which is destroyed by an F-15. In another operation, mossad breaks into the account of Jericho, who turns out to be Omar Khatib, head of AMAM, and kills him. The ground assault goes on for 9 days and Iraq is forced to retract from Kuwait.
The epilogue of the book gives us 2 very important lessons- 1) the developed countries must not give weapon machinery for money to dictators and 2) it tells us even after so much advancement in spy technology, the human eye is still the most important tool of espionage. The book develops its grip so surely that I had to lie awake the whole night to complete the book.

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