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The Afghan
(Frederick Forsyth)

The Afghan revolves around the journey taken by ex-military man Mike Martin to break into the Al-Qaeda inner circles and learn about an unknown terror attack on the Western World.
The novel opens with an ambush of on Al-Qaeda party and recovery of a Laptop - zealously guarded and seemingly containing highly sensitive data providing a reference to a big, unknown operation being planned by Al Qaeda but provides no details on when, where or how.
Enter Mike Martin, who - owing to his lineage and military experiences in the Arab World and Afghan mountains ? seems a possible candidate who can pass of as an Afghan militant and is the Western World's only chance to avoid a catastrophe possibly on a scale even higher than 9/11. The operation needs all due preparation right from identifying a possible neutralized Afghan fighter to be replaced to Mike's training in Islam and finally his 'escape' from captivity.
In the meantime, Al Qaeda is meticulously executing their plan for the major terror strike - a well conceived suicide mission capable of exposing the vulnerability of the Western World and precipitating a major crisis across the globe.
Martin is on his way and he needs to work fast to identify the plan so that it can be thwarted. But can he be trained enough to pass undetected amongst a mob of fanatics who would tear him to pieces at the slightest slip? And even if he can, does he have enough time to discover the plot and find a way to communicate it back? Your guess is as good as mine!
The novel has its moments though the end falls a bit short of the expectations built up throughout the narration. The author seems to have done a fair bit of homework on Afghanistan but some related information has glaring mistakes (e.g. partition of India wasn?t merely a North-South affair as pointed out).
But overall it is a good read and has all the ingredients of a good thriller. If you like adventure-thrillers you are likely to enjoy it.

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