Posted in Books

Book Review: The Kill List, by Frederick Forsyth

About the author:
Frederick Forsyth is an English author, best known for his thriller books like Day of the Jackal, The Afghan etc. He has been conferred a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). This is his latest novel.

Cover and blurb:
A world map with a target on it, the silhouette of a man and the color of blood… all that along with the reputation of the author screams thriller. The blurb just makes that more effective.

My thoughts on the book:
This is the first time I’ve picked up a book from this author. Reputation aside, I’ve usually gone for my favorite authors whenever I’ve seen them at the library, or wanted to purchase something from the bookstore. So to read Forsyth was quite incredible.

The Kill List is a list of names, the people who hold the most threat to the world’s security, a list held at the highest level of the US Government. The man most wanted on the list, the top threat is an imam whose sermons inspire his followers to kill high profile targets from the West; that too, all in the name of God. To put a stop to the imam, simply known as The Preacher, a highly accomplished soldier, our protagonist is brought in. Christopher Carson, to the world known as The Tracker, is chosen for this highly special task to save the world. But it is not an easy task. The Preacher’s modus operandi is difficult to break down; he is hidden well in cyberspace. Carson has to play to his strengths, and to his opponent’s weaknesses (which again, he can only assume).

Like I mentioned before, I have not read Forsyth prior to this novel. So I don’t know his writing style. Based on this, I’m actually looking forward to reading more of his works. There is a nice pace, one that suits a thriller. The plot is quite genuine and it holds well. The character of the villain is well thought, and the obstacles that The Preacher puts in front of The Tracker make the book even more interesting. You can tell that Forsyth’s research into what has to go into this novel is very meticulous and detailed. I feel a personal motive for the protagonist to go after the imam is quite good. It adds to the motive of national security. The cover design is also well done.

I don’t know if using only aliases through most of the narration was a nice idea though. It doesn’t bring the character to life, or give them an identity of their own. It’s very apt for a thriller, yes. But if the Preacher knows who the Tracker is, then why not use just names for the heroes? The alias doesn’t take away from the pace or the engrossing nature of the novel, but still, would have been a better read then I feel.

All in all, it was quite thrilling.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book Details:
Title: The Kill List
Author: Frederick Forsyth
ISBN: 9780552170154
Genre: Thriller
Publishers: Corgi Books
Price: INR. 399

This book was given to me for review by Random House India. This is not a paid review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with the First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws.

(12th Nov, 2013)


Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.