It is rare that I watch a movie before I read a book, but that was the case here. I found the movie online, and it was engrossing. I felt the book would be just as good, if not better. So picked it up quickly.
For a change, it was nice to read a thriller where the fate of the world as we know it wasn’t in the balance, or hanging on the actions of the protagonist. I started reading this book knowing very well that there would be historical “facts” and religious views in it, having heard of the novel long back.
I tend to stick to an author if I am wowed by their work. When the author writes in a way that appeals to me, and in my favorite genre too, then it’s a bonus. I was eager to try Dan Brown’s books again, after reading Digital Fortress last year. The next book on the cards was another of his standalone books, Deception Point.
Deception Point follows Rachel Sexton, analyst for the National Reconnaissance Office when she’s directed by the President of the United States to verify a find that NASA has found in the Arctic Ice. The discovery is at an important time, with the Presidential elections on the card, and Rachel’s father, Senator Sexton running for office. The discovery, if true, would be a victory not only for NASA but for the President too, aiding in his campaign. But, alas, things never go to plan. What Rachel does uncover is evidence contrary to what is expected. And the truth, as easy as it was to find, will be difficult to reveal, for those who planted that evidence will go to any lengths to protect it.
I honestly liked the plot of the story. What lacked was the pace, at least at the start of the novel. Maybe it was because of how Digital Fortress turned out, but I expected a nice speedy beginning. That didn’t happen, and for a while, I was flummoxed by the research overload. The politics in a political campaign was well portrayed. I liked the character sketch of Rachel Sexton and Michael Tolland. The chemistry between them was nicely done. But it reminded me too much of the characters from Digital Fortress and the similarity; and that further reflected in the way the book ended as well. Looking at it further, more similarities between the two are there. That’s what bothered me about the book.
I wouldn’t say the book is a one-time read. But if you read it immediately after reading Digital Fortress, I feel the book will feel odd.
|Title: Deception Point|
|Author(s): Dan Brown||Genre: Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780552161244||Publisher: Corgi Books|
|No. of Pages: 585||Price: Rs. 399|
(© 4th April 2015)
I’ve always been intrigued by thrillers. I had heard of Dan Brown, mostly for his book The Da Vinci Code, but somehow, the author and his books eluded my bookshelf and even when they came to it, I delayed reading. The first book I got was this one, and a title that intrigued me from the get-go. Even though it is a digital world these days, it’s hardly a fortress, so I wondered what the book would bring.
Susan Fletcher, head cryptographer at the NSA is surprised when she’s called in on her day off. When she comes in, everything seems as normal as she left it, but her boss tells her it is not. The NSA’s code breaking supercomputer, which has never taken very long to break a code, has been stuck on a piece of code for hours. That code is called Digital Fortress, developed by one who was once their own, Ensei Tankado. With the code, Tankado holds the NSA to ransom. The NSA is determined to stop that from happening, but can they? Tankado dies on the other side of the world, holding with him, a ring that has the code to stop Digital Fortress. David Becker, Susan’s fiancé, travels to find that ring. Can he?
What defines a thriller to me is pace, and this book has loads of it. The pages kept turning, and I was glued to the story from start to finish. The characters are interesting, and I was eager to know more of them. The chemistry between Susan and David is well written; even the code between them “Without Wax” was quite nice. When few moments in the thriller manage to bring a smile without affecting the interest in the thrill, like the relief Susan feels seeing David safe, and his proposal then, I feel the author succeeds in bringing a human touch to the read too. I’m no code breaker or whiz at math, so the code and the answer to it, how they break it in the end; that was exciting to read.
This book is wonderful, and will be one of my favorites.
|Title: Digital Fortress|
|Author(s): Dan Brown||Genre: Thriller|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780552159739||Publisher: Corgi Books|
|No. of Pages: 512||Price: Rs. 550|
(© 12th February 2015)
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.
Title: The Kill List
Author: Frederick Forsyth
Publishers: Corgi Books
Price: INR. 399
(12th Nov, 2013)