Book Review: Icon by Frederick Forsyth

Icon by Frederick Forsyth

So I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I love to read and that I’m also not very particular about what I read.  Basically I’ll read anything I can get my hands on.  A while back I bought a ton of books at a garage sale for dirt cheap.  I started ‘Icon’ several weeks ago and while it normally doesn’t take me long to read a book, I found myself struggling to maintain my usual pace with this book. 

The first half of the book is practically all Russian history.  Not being much of a history buff myself that was a little hard to swallow.  The second half is more interesting and there’s some action starting but most of the real ‘fun stuff’ is in about the last eighth of the book.  All in all, it’s a great book if you love history and spy games and lots and lots of details.  If you just want to get lost in a story, it’s probably not the one for you.  I know this is a book my dad would appreciate so that’s where it’s headed next. 

How about you guys?  Read anything interesting lately? 

Synopsis of book (found on Amazon.com)

From the master of the novel of international intrigue comes a riveting new book as timely and unsettling as tomorrow’s headlines.

It is summer 1999 in Russia, a country on the threshold of anarchy.  An interim president sits powerless in Moscow as his nation is wracked by famine and inflation, crime and corruption, and seething hordes of the unemployed roam the streets.

For the West, Russia is a basket case.  But for Igor Komarov, one-time army sergeant who has risen to leadership of the right-wing UPF party, the chaos is made to order.  As he waits in the wings for the presidential election of January 2000, his striking voice rings out over the airwaves offering the roiling masses hope at last–not only for law, order, and prosperity, but for restoring the lost greatness of their land.

Who is this man with the golden tongue who is so quickly becoming the promise of a Russia reborn?  A document stolen from party headquarters and smuggled to Washington and London sends nightmare chills through those who remember the past, for this Black Manifesto is pure Mein Kampf in a country with frightening parallels to the Germany of the Weimar Republic.

Officially the West can do nothing, but in secret a group of elder statesmen sends the only person who can expose the truth about Komarov into the heart of the inferno.  Jason Monk, ex-CIA and “the best damn agent-runner we ever had,” had sworn he would never return to Moscow, but one name changes his mind.  Colonel Anatoli Grishin, the KGB officer who tortured and murdered four of Monk’s agents after they had been betrayed by Aldrich Ames, is now Komarov’s head of security.

Monk has a dual mission: to stop Komarov, whatever it takes, and to prepare the way for an icon worthy of the Russian people.  But he has a personal mission as well: to settle the final score with Grishin.  To do this he must stay alive–and the forces allied against him are ruthless, the time frighteningly short….

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