Sirk TV Book Review: THE FOX [G.P. Putnam’s Sons]

The idea of a hacker on the level of Rain Man who knows not what he does but just that it needs to be done forms the basis of “The Fox” [Frederick Forsyth/G.P. Putnam’s Sons/304pgs] which has a young brilliant British super hacker who has Asperger’s Syndrome. The book does not follow his thought process but rather a former British bureau chief as he tries to outsmart his Russian counterpart in a post Cold War all digital world where everything can be manipulated by computer. What is undeniably intriguing that the book does. much like “The Hunt For Red October”, is its use of old school manipulation and counter offensive techniques to get the job done. Ultimately it always comes back to the human element. Also the book feels very current and is in its references without making specific naming of certain players. However it’s the perception and interrelation of politics in terms of North Korea and the Russians that seem particularly spot on. Some of the set pieces including the beaching of a submarine on a sand bar which was just being used as a form of intimidation seems particularly well played. In an age of “Mission Impossible” where it is trying to be cutting edge, this book achieves the modern feeling without becoming too technical, as well as engaging and quick without losing the human edge. The essence also shows counter intelligence and misdirection as it should be shown, not like “Red Sparrow” which despite its best intentions focused too much on character instead of the end game. The end game here works well but like “Skyfall”, it understands that everything is cyclical.


By Tim Wassberg

Posted on October 22, 2018, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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