A young American aid volunteer, Ricky Colenso, is brutally murdered in former Yugoslavia. His grandfather, the Canadian billionaire Steven Edmond, is bent on revenge. The quest to find Ricky's murderer leads Edmond to Cal Dexter, ex-Vietnam Special Forces, the one man who could bring the killer to justice. But what starts as a personal, domestic ...
A young American aid volunteer, Ricky Colenso, is brutally murdered in former Yugoslavia. His grandfather, the Canadian billionaire Steven Edmond, is bent on revenge. The quest to find Ricky's murderer leads Edmond to Cal Dexter, ex-Vietnam Special Forces, the one man who could bring the killer to justice. But what starts as a personal, domestic tragedy soon explodes into a terrifying drama on the centre stage of world terrorism. From the battlefield of Vietnam via war-torn Serbia to the jungles of Central America, "Avenger" is packed with riveting detail, breathtaking action and political suspense, while in Cal Dexter we meet an unforgettable hero in the most dynamic Forsyth tradition.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-07-28 "The master is back," the promo goes, "with his best thriller since The Day of the Jackal." A bold statement: while no Jackal, this strong and memorable novel is his best in decades, and as good as The Odessa File and The Dogs of War. It is the story of vigilante Cal Dexter's pursuit of a Serbian warlord into the jungles of the fictional Republic of San Martin. Dexter, former Vietnam tunnel rat, now small-town attorney and clandestine kidnapper of refugees from justice, is after Zoran Zilic, a gangster who has escaped Serbia with a fortune but not before savagely killing an American aid worker who happens to be the grandson of a billionaire mining magnate. It's the magnate who sets in motion the operation against Zilic, first through a man known as "The Tracker," who locates him, then via the Avenger, whose task is to bring Zilic to American justice. But Zilic is protected in his South American jungle compound not only by the best security money can buy but also by a top FBI man who plans to use the warlord to help take out a dangerous terrorist named Usama bin Laden; much of the narrative takes place within weeks of 9/11, and is laced with irony. Forsyth fans won't be surprised that the action, always exciting, is supported by numerous briefings on matters geopolitical, historical and scientific; with Jackal, Forsyth established the now traditional formula of thrillers that educate as well as entertain. The digressions are frequent early on but no page lacks interest and the novel's second half, which focuses on the Avenger's attempted snatch of Zilic, is pure gold. This will hit bestseller lists high and hard and a sequel seems likely. (Sept. 30) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-10-06 Conger's coldly precise narration complements the riveting prologue to Forsyth's latest thriller, which describes the ghastly murder of a young aid worker in 1995 Bosnia; however, his impersonal approach isn't as effective during the exposition-laden first half. This plodding segment consists of an excessively detailed search for the killer, interspersed with lengthy segments describing protagonist Calvin Dexter's background, from his inception and eventual service in Vietnam to his public career as a New Jersey attorney with a sub-rosa practice as Avenger, an astonishingly capable righter of wrongs. Forsyth's considerable fan base may relish the hours devoted to the warm-up, but less patient listeners will be tempted to fast forward to the novel's second half, when Avenger is hired to find and capture Zoran Zilic, a Serbian criminal ensconced beyond the reach of free world law enforcement. Once Dexter locates Zilic's seemingly impenetrable lair, both author and reader quicken their pace. Grueling physical challenges, chilling escapes, a splendid final surprise and a plot development involving none other than Osama bin Laden compensate for the novel's less-than-thrilling early padding. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's/Dunne hardcover (Forecasts, July 28). (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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