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The Fourth Protocol (BBC Audiobooks)

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The Fourth Protocol Plan Aurora, in its spine-chilling ingenuity, breaches the ultra-secret Fourth Protocol. A crack Soviet agent under cover in a quiet English town begins to assemble a jigsaw of devastation. MI5 investigator John Preston, working blind, leads an operation to prevent an act of murderous devastation aimed at tumbling Britain into revolution. Full descripti The Fourth Protocol Plan Aurora, in its spine-chilling ingenuity, breaches the ultra-secret Fourth Protocol. A crack Soviet agent under cover in a quiet English town begins to assemble a jigsaw of devastation. MI5 investigator John Preston, working blind, leads an operation to prevent an act of murderous devastation aimed at tumbling Britain into revolution. Full description


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The Fourth Protocol Plan Aurora, in its spine-chilling ingenuity, breaches the ultra-secret Fourth Protocol. A crack Soviet agent under cover in a quiet English town begins to assemble a jigsaw of devastation. MI5 investigator John Preston, working blind, leads an operation to prevent an act of murderous devastation aimed at tumbling Britain into revolution. Full descripti The Fourth Protocol Plan Aurora, in its spine-chilling ingenuity, breaches the ultra-secret Fourth Protocol. A crack Soviet agent under cover in a quiet English town begins to assemble a jigsaw of devastation. MI5 investigator John Preston, working blind, leads an operation to prevent an act of murderous devastation aimed at tumbling Britain into revolution. Full description

30 review for The Fourth Protocol (BBC Audiobooks)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Igor Ljubuncic

    One of the best spy books around. Two years after I jotted this one sentence, I should elaborate more. The book can also be called: how to assemble a nuclear weapon in 13 easy steps. Combine that with some solid, classic 80s Cold War era spy tactics and half a dozen sub-plots converging toward a decidedly gray-day industrial-era English brick house standoff, and you get yourself an excellent thriller. The best part is, it's visual. You are reading this book and you see it like a film unfolding bef One of the best spy books around. Two years after I jotted this one sentence, I should elaborate more. The book can also be called: how to assemble a nuclear weapon in 13 easy steps. Combine that with some solid, classic 80s Cold War era spy tactics and half a dozen sub-plots converging toward a decidedly gray-day industrial-era English brick house standoff, and you get yourself an excellent thriller. The best part is, it's visual. You are reading this book and you see it like a film unfolding before your eyes. In a way, it's the quintessential culmination of the brutal dogmatic standoff between the West and the East. But in a polite, reserved kind of way. James Bonds, sans the cheesy cliches. And more rain. I read this book a long long time ago, and I still clearly remember the initial report on what the Soviets would do if nuclear weapons were used in Europe. Amazing. And probably quite accurate, too. Does it allow for a limerick? Well, the action happens in the UK, so of course it does! There was a man named Kim, To untrained eye, he looked quite dim, Polonium and plush, Gunfire and rush, The prospect of war was rather grim. Regards, Igor AKA The Jackal

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kirk

    Frederick Forsyth is one of my all time favorite novelists and my favorite of all "spy novelists". The Fourth Protocol is my favorite spy novel of all time. It definitely falls into the "Commando Spy" category but is far better written than most. I love spy novels of most types and the Commando spy novels (of which I refer to the 007 novels as) are particular favorites of mine but I also like the more behind the curtains novels that LeCarre writes. This book of Forsyth's is a fantastic cross Frederick Forsyth is one of my all time favorite novelists and my favorite of all "spy novelists". The Fourth Protocol is my favorite spy novel of all time. It definitely falls into the "Commando Spy" category but is far better written than most. I love spy novels of most types and the Commando spy novels (of which I refer to the 007 novels as) are particular favorites of mine but I also like the more behind the curtains novels that LeCarre writes. This book of Forsyth's is a fantastic cross breed of the two. I've read this book numerous times and never fail to get drawn in from head to toe. It is great in all the little details you get from Forsyth's novels about the steps of the KGB's renegade mission and the investigation of the protagonist's suspicions as well as the dirty pool that make the book so much fun to read. Agent John Preston is a great and sympathetic character who I can't help but root for. I wish he could have been used again in Forsyth's books as he was such a likable and heroic character. Nobody writes spy novels as well as the British and for my money no other author writes them as well as Forsyth. This is my favorite Spy novel of all time. If you love the nitty gritty of The Cold War as much as I do you'll understand. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul Alkazraji

    Pierce as agent Petrofski in the film version. On Russian intervention… When an elite Russian agent is dispatched to plant an atomic bomb on a US airbase in the UK, beleaguered MI5 agent John Preston is pretty much all that stands in his way. A rich and interesting picture is built up of all the circumstances leading to this, with Forsyth’s meticulous thoroughness, though the filling in of detailed backstory for me felt at times to be an unwelcome interruption to the forward flow of the nar Pierce as agent Petrofski in the film version. On Russian intervention… When an elite Russian agent is dispatched to plant an atomic bomb on a US airbase in the UK, beleaguered MI5 agent John Preston is pretty much all that stands in his way. A rich and interesting picture is built up of all the circumstances leading to this, with Forsyth’s meticulous thoroughness, though the filling in of detailed backstory for me felt at times to be an unwelcome interruption to the forward flow of the narrative. Yet, in this ambitious and potentially devastating plan for Russian intervention on the UK political scene of the 1980s - to swing a national election in accordance with their own interests - we are reminded that such operations were once not carried out by troll-factories but by steely Pierce Brosnan types. Bring back the old days! By this reviewer:

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Frederick Forsyth is a writer who did write some classics when it comes to the thriller genre, The Odessa File about Nazi's post WWII, Dogs of war about the post colonial attitudes of big cooperations about former colonies, the day of the Jackal about the assassination of the French President. And all books have a very precise build up with a lot of details how certain things can be done, mostly illegal stuff, and then the writer still knows how to surprise you in the end. The Fourth Protocol is Frederick Forsyth is a writer who did write some classics when it comes to the thriller genre, The Odessa File about Nazi's post WWII, Dogs of war about the post colonial attitudes of big cooperations about former colonies, the day of the Jackal about the assassination of the French President. And all books have a very precise build up with a lot of details how certain things can be done, mostly illegal stuff, and then the writer still knows how to surprise you in the end. The Fourth Protocol is about the use of a small nuclear weapon inside a country that was party to a big treaty of Nuclear weapons reduction, it is the nightmare scenario. The book begins as a heist goes wrong or right, which is in the eye of the beholder, which turns bad in the aftermath for most involved. But somehow leads to the unearthing of a spy in Britain once again. Which leads us to another southern continent and a chase for a long-term sleeper agent. All the time we see a plan being created which would change the political future of a country through sheer manipulation in which master-spy Kim Philby is involved. It is a spy story, historical views upon an aspect of WW2 which involves Afrikaners, a thriller with a case upon which rest the property for the British Isles and the chasing involved. Right up to last page we know not what is happening and whom is doing the happening. A bloody brilliantly written book that should be considered as one of Forsyths great novels and one of the Uber thrillers ever written in the genre. So worthy of being read and worthy of a lot of praise. If you really do not fancy reading the book you can always watch the movie with Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan which is a very decent movie. Have read this book several time but a re-visit ever so often seems to be inevitable and worth my time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    This is my first British-style spy thriller, and I have to say it stacks up pretty darned good next to the American equivalent. There are no Mary Sue characters, no great intuitive leaps of logic, no silly foolishness from the Bad Guys, and only a smidgeon of authorial politics coming into it. However, it does make me sad to see that every author of this sort of stuff that I've come across is Right Wing to some extent or another. I wonder what a Left Wing spy thriller would look like, and I wond This is my first British-style spy thriller, and I have to say it stacks up pretty darned good next to the American equivalent. There are no Mary Sue characters, no great intuitive leaps of logic, no silly foolishness from the Bad Guys, and only a smidgeon of authorial politics coming into it. However, it does make me sad to see that every author of this sort of stuff that I've come across is Right Wing to some extent or another. I wonder what a Left Wing spy thriller would look like, and I wonder if there is some form of the genre kicking about in Russia in which KGB agents are the heroes against CIA machinations. 3.5/5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helio

    This was a 3.5 read with detractors of the parts involving Philby (dragged) and the annoying use of false suspense > such as "and he read it and knew" the reader not knowing until later. The twists at the end almost garnished the book a four but I'm going with a three. This was a 3.5 read with detractors of the parts involving Philby (dragged) and the annoying use of false suspense > such as "and he read it and knew" the reader not knowing until later. The twists at the end almost garnished the book a four but I'm going with a three.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim Puskas

    This is Forsythe's most successful book about the Cold War. His research into the inner workings of the Soviet goverment was so astonishingly detailed and accurate that he came under the attention of the CIA! This book included several of the most intriguing and fully developed characters that Forsythe ever created. A terrific read which was regrettably made into a movie that managed to leave out all of the romance and subtlety of the book and dull the edges of the story. Forget about the film, This is Forsythe's most successful book about the Cold War. His research into the inner workings of the Soviet goverment was so astonishingly detailed and accurate that he came under the attention of the CIA! This book included several of the most intriguing and fully developed characters that Forsythe ever created. A terrific read which was regrettably made into a movie that managed to leave out all of the romance and subtlety of the book and dull the edges of the story. Forget about the film, read the book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Owens

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The problem lies with me not with the book. I just don't enjoy the British spy genre anymore. All I would say is that The Rolling Stones wrote all their great songs in the sixties and are still writing today. I think Freddie wrote his great works a long time ago now: Day of the Jackal, Dogs of War, Odessa File. Maybe he should only perform those works when he appears at Glastonbury. The problem lies with me not with the book. I just don't enjoy the British spy genre anymore. All I would say is that The Rolling Stones wrote all their great songs in the sixties and are still writing today. I think Freddie wrote his great works a long time ago now: Day of the Jackal, Dogs of War, Odessa File. Maybe he should only perform those works when he appears at Glastonbury.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christian D. Orr

    "THE FOURTH PROTOCOL" by Frederick Forsyth Another classic Frederick Forsyth thriller from the Cold War era, whose age (both the actual publication date and the storyline take place during Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the UK) does not diminish the enjoyability of the novel. This one pits MI5 officer John Preston--an intelligent and skilled operative whose career growth and ability to do his job is frequently stymied by his pompous jackass boss Brian Harcourt-Smith--against KGB "THE FOURTH PROTOCOL" by Frederick Forsyth Another classic Frederick Forsyth thriller from the Cold War era, whose age (both the actual publication date and the storyline take place during Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the UK) does not diminish the enjoyability of the novel. This one pits MI5 officer John Preston--an intelligent and skilled operative whose career growth and ability to do his job is frequently stymied by his pompous jackass boss Brian Harcourt-Smith--against KGB super-spy Major Valeri Petrofsky (AKA "James Duncan Ross"). Petrofsky is dispatched by high-ranking rogue elements in the Soviet, including no less than the (fictitious) General Secretary of the USSR and (real-life) infamous British traitor Kim Philby, to set off a (relatively) small-scale nuclear explosion in the UK and thus influence British elections in favour of the country's radical, anti-military, and anti-American left-wingers. The book is replete with Forsyth's delightfully sarcastic wit and encyclopaedic eye for detail (whether the subject is geographical, political, or administrative in nature), as well as insightful perspective on British and Soviet intelligence agencies alike as well as left-wing elements of British politics in the 1980s. RANDOM STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS (and noteworthy passages): --p. 6: "Billy knew the door was secured by a shunt lock, which he had gratefully identified as a Chubb rather than a Brahmah, which is reputedly unpickable." Hmmm, I wonder what Fiona Glenanne of "Burn Notice" would say about that? ;-) --p. 8: Shouldn't "Committee of State Security" actually be "Committee *for* State Security?" --p. 9: "Burgess, drinking and buggering his way to an early grave." Good riddance to that commie bugger! --p. 30: Haha, Permanent Under Secretary = "PUS." What would Demo Dick Marcinko think? --p. 34: "'one of nature's bachelors,'" haha, good one,never heard that particular slang phrase before. Lady Fiona Glen....the eventual inspiration for the name of the Fiona Glenanne character from "Burn Notice," perhaps? --p. 41: the civil service unions had recruited so many staffers with extreme-left political views" Hey wow, just like in the US of A! --p. 47: Um, Mr. Forsyth, the Browning Hi-Power 9mm doesn't have a fully "Automatic" capability. --p. 54: "wearing a nice new lines in concrete underpants," haha, nice one. --pp. 56-57: "the bedrock of Marxism-Leninism in Britain has always been in the trade union movement" Gee, what a shocker. --p. 78: "but the Chaika with the MOC license plates had sped down the center lane reserved for the *vlasti*, the elite, the fat cats in what Marx had dreamed would be a classless socirty--it had become a society rigidly structured, layered, and class-ridden as only a vast bureaucratic hierarchy can be." Oh, snap! A stinging indictment of Communism. (BTW, wouldn't another term for "vlasti" be "nomenklatura?") --p. 84: "postal intercept" = the British equivalent of what the U.S. Federal law enforcement community refers to as "mail covers?" --p. 126: "there were more ways to kill a cat than by thumping it with blunt objects." Van Der Walt Street! Vuilpiel!! --p. 130: De La Rey Regiment! --p. 174: "Sako automatic??" I thought Sako made only rifles, not pistols. --p. 176: "Almost alone in the world, the British do not have to carry any identification on their persons." Holy crap, wow, is this as true now as it was back in 1984 (when this novel was first published)? --p. 199: "Starets" = Russian equivalent of English "Old Man" or French "patron" (originally meant a village headman) "Pal" is the diminutive equivalent of Pavel? I thought "Pasha" was? --p. 201: Um, would a Russian be using the English pejorative "wogs?" Wouldn't he be using the term "chernozophy" instead? --p. 226: Kandahar! --p. 241: A large glob of butter to preemptively offset the effects of alcohol, eh? Interesting.... --p. 243: "Maintenance?" Is that what the Brits call it instead of "alimony?" --p. 249: Wouldn't a Russian be used "kilometres" instead of "miles" in a conversation, especially with a fellow Russian? --p. 280: "engine cover," AKA the hood/bonnet? --p. 318: "Another theme that ran through the Left campaign was anti-Americanism." Gee, what a surprise. --p. 363: Um, Mr. Forsyth, Operation Nimrod was in 1980, not 1981.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marc Maitland

    Since I had seen the film countless times, I read the book with eager anticipation. The book is a FAR more finely-woven plot than could ever be accommodated within the space of a 90-minute film, and therefore FAR more satisfying. The wealth of detail offered by Mr. Forsyth is an educational experience, whether the sections and sub-sections of the secret services, or the S.A.S. Regiment, but best of all the pin-prick analysis of the 1980s' Labour Party is wonderful to behold. The involvement of t Since I had seen the film countless times, I read the book with eager anticipation. The book is a FAR more finely-woven plot than could ever be accommodated within the space of a 90-minute film, and therefore FAR more satisfying. The wealth of detail offered by Mr. Forsyth is an educational experience, whether the sections and sub-sections of the secret services, or the S.A.S. Regiment, but best of all the pin-prick analysis of the 1980s' Labour Party is wonderful to behold. The involvement of the traitor Kim Philby in a double-plot is masterly, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then in smuggling in and trying to detonate a nuclear bomb in the U.K., the ultimate episode of television's "Spooks" must have been paying more than lipservice to The Fourth Protocol! Overall, a thoroughly good read, but only one sequence from the film which did not originate in the book, the female "assembler" who slept with the deep-cover agent (Pierce Brosnan in the film) just before he murdered her was a nice touch, but obviously not penned by Forsyth.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anand

    Trust a master story teller to write an epic! I can't even begin to imagine the kind of research required for writing a novel like this. Immensely eventful. gripping and a complete page turner. This kind of a story and plot demands extreme craft over the topics like politics, international relations, covert operations and government administration. Something as simple as how to make a bomb stretches for 4-5 pages. May be called overtly descriptive, but somehow fits into this novel's style and ge Trust a master story teller to write an epic! I can't even begin to imagine the kind of research required for writing a novel like this. Immensely eventful. gripping and a complete page turner. This kind of a story and plot demands extreme craft over the topics like politics, international relations, covert operations and government administration. Something as simple as how to make a bomb stretches for 4-5 pages. May be called overtly descriptive, but somehow fits into this novel's style and genre. Very highly recommended, even if you don't typically read thrillers of this genre. Don't let yourself misbelieve that a pre Russia, USSR era cold-war setting makes this story stale for modern times.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    The Fourth Protocol was my third Frederick Forsyth read, and whilst it is my favourite of the three, my feelings are much the same as my feelings towards the other two of his books I have read. Of course, I’ll be reading more. I brought a collection that contained twelve books, and I’m not one to ignore the books on my shelf. However, I won’t be rushing into any of them. I fear my feelings towards all of his books will be about the same, and such a thing disappoints me, as I want to enjoy them m The Fourth Protocol was my third Frederick Forsyth read, and whilst it is my favourite of the three, my feelings are much the same as my feelings towards the other two of his books I have read. Of course, I’ll be reading more. I brought a collection that contained twelve books, and I’m not one to ignore the books on my shelf. However, I won’t be rushing into any of them. I fear my feelings towards all of his books will be about the same, and such a thing disappoints me, as I want to enjoy them more than I do. At the start, I wasn’t really pulled into the story. I kept stopping and starting, picking up other reads as my attention was not held. Such has been my experience with all my Frederick Forsyth reads to date. I’m not exactly sure what stops me from being pulled in from the start, but as of yet he has failed to do such a thing. I’m not sure if it’s his particular way of storytelling. I’m not sure if it is the information load we’re given. I’m not sure if it is something else. All I know is that I have yet to be pulled in from page one. When the story got going, however, I was pulled in. I cannot say at what particular point this was, all I know is that my view changed and I was suddenly pulled in. I wanted to know what came next. I needed answers. I had to focus my reading onto this book, and this book alone. Only, there was a short period of time where my interest did threaten to dissipate. Again, it is something I have found with his other books. The pacing didn’t seem quite right. There was action, and I wanted to see where things were going. Then, things slowed down and I grew bored. Later, the pace picked back up. I know we cannot have high octave action throughout, but the sudden drop in speed caught me off guard. It felt like too much of a drop for such a thriller, which resulted in the ending feeling somewhat rushed. Don’t get me wrong, it was an interesting ending. We knew certain aspects were coming, yet there were still some surprise details to be given. I simply feel as though it all happened a little too quickly when compared to other aspects of the book. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite enough to earn a four star rating.

  13. 5 out of 5

    P.R.

    Recommended by a friend, and because I hadn't read any Frederick Forsyth for some years, I picked up the Kindle version for a snip and plunged back into the world of the early nineteen eighties. This author knows everything about suspense and deception, and the first half of the book certainly plots a 'tangled web'. You need to stick with it, because every single strand is important, and some of the back stories are fascinating. His knowledge of the USSR and the Cold War is almost second to none, Recommended by a friend, and because I hadn't read any Frederick Forsyth for some years, I picked up the Kindle version for a snip and plunged back into the world of the early nineteen eighties. This author knows everything about suspense and deception, and the first half of the book certainly plots a 'tangled web'. You need to stick with it, because every single strand is important, and some of the back stories are fascinating. His knowledge of the USSR and the Cold War is almost second to none, and I found it interesting to compare how little things change in the muddied world of secrets. Towards the end I couldn't tear myself away from it. I might deduct half a star because of the complexity, but patience is a virtue and the writing is superb. Would I read it again? Yes, I'd love to give it a go after another ten years or so, just to see whether anything has made a significant difference to the trust and mistrust between nations... but I doubt it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    2.5 stars. This book was very slow getting started, and had long boring narratives on British politics. I listened to the audiobook, and didn't even bother pausing it when I temporarily left the room, because I knew I wouldn't miss anything interesting. In fact, if it hadn't been for all the good reviews here, I would have bailed, which I almost never do. The story finally kicked into gear about 2/3 of the way through the book -- way too late. 2.5 stars. This book was very slow getting started, and had long boring narratives on British politics. I listened to the audiobook, and didn't even bother pausing it when I temporarily left the room, because I knew I wouldn't miss anything interesting. In fact, if it hadn't been for all the good reviews here, I would have bailed, which I almost never do. The story finally kicked into gear about 2/3 of the way through the book -- way too late.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ben B

    I have probably read this book cover-to-cover a dozen times, and have read selected chapters many more. The characters are well drawn, the story is well told, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One of the most fun spy novels of all time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Parker

    A slow moving spy story, this one is quite dated now and suffers from pages of boring as hell excerpts from reports sent to the KGB. Eventually we get to the chase and the last third of the book is decent, but you deserve a promotion if you make it that far honestly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rajan

    The fourth protocol is about nuclear weapons. Russians try to breach it and what follows is this tale. Very interesting read. his research is thorough as always. Must read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ben Boulden

    A perfectly plotted spy thriller that feels less like a novel and more like true crime. A combination that would become difficult as a steady reading diet, but works very well here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shom Biswas

    My favourite writer within the broad category of thrillers, one I literally grew up reading, is Frederick Forsyth. Forsyth is different from the standardfare thriller writer in that he takes a long time in patiently building up the plot. If you want a thrill-a-minute ride, Forsyth is not for you (I do have a recommendation for the extreme thrill-seeker, and that is Robert Crais; but Crais would be for another day). Forsyth is not necessarily a mystery writer, his two most celebrated books, Day o My favourite writer within the broad category of thrillers, one I literally grew up reading, is Frederick Forsyth. Forsyth is different from the standardfare thriller writer in that he takes a long time in patiently building up the plot. If you want a thrill-a-minute ride, Forsyth is not for you (I do have a recommendation for the extreme thrill-seeker, and that is Robert Crais; but Crais would be for another day). Forsyth is not necessarily a mystery writer, his two most celebrated books, Day of the Jackal and The Dogs of War cannot be classified as mysteries by any stretch, but some of his mystery thrillers, The Odessa File and The Fourth Protocol are exceptional; the latter is my recommendation for the week. The Fourth Protocol of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prohibited assembling of nuclear weapons, piecemeal in secret, close to the target, before being detonated. This book is set in 1986, during the heights of the Cold War. In London, a thief breaks in and steals important documents from a senior civil servant’s home. Later, on reading the contents — which reveal the civil servant to be a double-agent­ — the thief anonymously sends the information to the MI5. In parallel to this, the most (in)famous spy of the ages, Kim Philby, having defected to Moscow, starts working with the Russian government towards a masterplan to supplement the British Labour Party leadership with a hard-left candidate, who would be working for the Russian cause. Philby’s plan would be to create some major unrest just before the UK general election, such that the Labour party wins, and the hard-left candidate becomes Prime Minister. Valeri Petrofsky, a Soviet spy, lands up in England under cover to give fruition to this masterplan. John Preston, decorated ex-soldier and current MI5 officer, is given charge of uncovering the double-agent civil servant, and eventually attempt to thwart Philby’s masterplan. This makes him navigate the political labyrinth of the MI5, takes him as far as South Africa – in the most intricate bit of dogged, patient mystery-solving you will ever see. The mystery thriller is perhaps the least appreciated genre among serious mystery readers. More often than not, it is for reasons of aesthetics - the mystery thriller supplements the ‘art’ of detection with the action, the ‘thrills’ if I may. Cheap thrills? It’s not for me to judge. There are few things I like more than a well-written, taut, mystery thriller. And The Fourth Protocol is really as good as it gets in that regard. Recommended reading: The Fourth Protocol - Frederick Forsyth Previously published at the New Indian Express

  20. 4 out of 5

    Murray

    In this completely preposterous 1980s Cold War spy thriller, the Russians try to effect the outcome of another country's elections. OK, that was a joke, sadly. However, what's not funny is Forsyth's crystal ball glance into the future, with suitcase bombs, terrorists and spies shuttling across borders to create their sleeping cells, and a very devious plan on behalf of the Russians to overthrow a foreign (in this case, UK) government. In pre-internet hacking days, the Russians in this novel devis In this completely preposterous 1980s Cold War spy thriller, the Russians try to effect the outcome of another country's elections. OK, that was a joke, sadly. However, what's not funny is Forsyth's crystal ball glance into the future, with suitcase bombs, terrorists and spies shuttling across borders to create their sleeping cells, and a very devious plan on behalf of the Russians to overthrow a foreign (in this case, UK) government. In pre-internet hacking days, the Russians in this novel devise a complicated masterplan to gain control of the UK in a way far more frightening that their current alleged crimes. Like most of Forsyth's books, this one is complex and requires close attention. Forsyth is typically a 'just the facts' kind of author, with more attention paid to spycraft than wordcraft. But, his books are hard to put down and always satisfying to the very end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Frederick Forsyth's first book The Day of the Jackal is one of, if not my favourite thriller. Since reading it I have been trying to capture its magic with Forsyth and other authors. The premise behind this is highly intriguing with the nuclear disarmament and far left of the Labour party being fascinating and strangely as relevant today as when it was written. (Anti Nuclear weapon marches that occur in the book occurred in London today with exactly the same sentiments.) Despite these ideas having Frederick Forsyth's first book The Day of the Jackal is one of, if not my favourite thriller. Since reading it I have been trying to capture its magic with Forsyth and other authors. The premise behind this is highly intriguing with the nuclear disarmament and far left of the Labour party being fascinating and strangely as relevant today as when it was written. (Anti Nuclear weapon marches that occur in the book occurred in London today with exactly the same sentiments.) Despite these ideas having me hooked the book never really delivered on that promise and although I would love to give it more, for a thriller this wasn't all that thrilling for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Taken me long enough, having seen most of the film adaptations of his novels, but I have finally read my first Frederick Forsyth novel and I am looking forward to reading more (having bought a set of twelve of his novels). The Fourth Protocol is a well researched story based in a slightly in the future UK (at the time it was written) and it brought back memories for me of that time (mid 80s). Excellent spy thriller. Ray Smillie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Simply fantastic - I had been recommended this book and finally got round to reading it and I wished I hadn't waited that long (Sorry Dan!). Frederick Forsyth has such a great style of writing with such attention to detail that you can visualise the scenes in your head and are almost there in the room with the characters. Thoroughly enjoyable! Simply fantastic - I had been recommended this book and finally got round to reading it and I wished I hadn't waited that long (Sorry Dan!). Frederick Forsyth has such a great style of writing with such attention to detail that you can visualise the scenes in your head and are almost there in the room with the characters. Thoroughly enjoyable!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diane Anderson

    Frederick Forsyth NEVER disappoints!!! I could hardly put down this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Santosh Bhat

    Good old Spy thriller with many white- knuckle sequences. Doesn't go where you expect it to, and for that I am grateful. Good old Spy thriller with many white- knuckle sequences. Doesn't go where you expect it to, and for that I am grateful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    as with other FF novels, the research hangs very heavily here. The plot is well conceived and subtle enough. However, Forsyth's own politics and prejudice do leave a slightly disturbing smell. as with other FF novels, the research hangs very heavily here. The plot is well conceived and subtle enough. However, Forsyth's own politics and prejudice do leave a slightly disturbing smell.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Arend

    I don´t get what people like about Forsyth. Like Day of the Jackel, The fourth Protocol is just dragging along, with too much boring info that takes away the speed and tension of the story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Frederick Forsyth novels were a familiar fixture in our household when I was growing up, as both my parents loved his work. He was amongst the first ‘adult’ reads that I was drawn to at the time. So, my love affair with his books began, and over the years I have read everything he’s written- keeping up with any new release/s. As my mother has been in and out of hospital quite a lot over the past year and a half, I am keeping her supplied with books to read, and buddy reading them with her, or re Frederick Forsyth novels were a familiar fixture in our household when I was growing up, as both my parents loved his work. He was amongst the first ‘adult’ reads that I was drawn to at the time. So, my love affair with his books began, and over the years I have read everything he’s written- keeping up with any new release/s. As my mother has been in and out of hospital quite a lot over the past year and a half, I am keeping her supplied with books to read, and buddy reading them with her, or reading them to her when she isn’t well enough to read for herself. We have gotten through quite a lot of books in this time and it has been wonderful to discuss each one with her as we read/finish. It has been a great bonding experience for us, and Mr. Forsyth is our current author of choice- and we have both really enjoyed revisiting all his books, again. Mr. Forsyth has a great knack for writing wonderfully suspenseful and exciting read, there is always great tension, action, drama, some danger, intrigue, and lots more to hold your attention. I can always count on him to deliver an intriguing read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bennett

    An excellent Cold War espionage novel and none the worse for having been written contemporaneously in the 1980’s. Forsyth doesn’t like liberals very much and that comes across in his writing but I’ll forgive him because he knows how to write a tightly plotted thriller.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Titford

    CT review September 2018 Excellent from the start to finish, Mr F. always has understood how to cultivate the “tapeworm of the story”. Negative? A few informative but rather boring passages that add only to show a bit of savoir faire ... e. g. all the detail on the bomb making. Otherwise would recommend highly.

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