The master of thriller writing returns with a look at modern security,
which of course, has to include cybersecurity. Beginning with a Special
Forces team breaking into a British suburban house today, Frederick
Forsyth then retraces the path that has made us so dependent on
THE FOX is a codename given to a
wily intruder to databanks. He doesn't seem to do any damage but the
fact that he gets access is worrying. Among those concerned are a
former senior SIS leader Sir Adrian Weston and one Mrs. Marjory
Graham, Prime Minister, a thinly disguised Theresa May. Russia's leader
Putin is clearly the man described as Vozhd.
Luke Jennings, an eighteen-year-old lad with Asperger's syndrome,
manages to infiltrate a US data bank and cause damage. Now the
forces track him down in the Luton house and Luke's family is detained.
Sir Adrian is notified and tries to broker a solution. Luke's surfing is
now monitored in a new, secure location, and his hacking is used as a
tool for others to gain entry. One highly visible effect is that a Russian
nuclear submarine suddenly beaches itself in the English Channel.
Russian agent Yevgeni Krilov is tasked with finding and eliminating the
impudent hacker. When the agent learns the crucial details of
"Jennings" and "Luton," which seems enough to propel the chase
forward to England and New York.
The writing style is detached, third person distant. To me, the style
comes across as though Forsythe was dictating the work, and meant to
come back to it later for improvement, but didn't. The author delivers
lectures on the backgrounds rather than letting characters explain, and
everyone already seems to know everything they need to know. Our
primary character is called Sir Adrian throughout, putting him at a
remove from the reader. We learn nothing about hacking.
Sergei Skripal, a retired Russian, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned
by a Russian nerve agent Novichok while in England, an issue referred
to several times in THE FOX.
Frederick Forsythe is banking on the increased awareness of Russian
espionage aggression on a personal level, to draw readers into his
story. Otherwise, this tale might not have worked; we no longer have a
Cold War, and Russian money has bought up half of posh London.
While the thriller takes some time to start thrilling, once on the move it
picks off targets with chilling accuracy and the various soldiers we
meet are the most real characters.
The #1 New York Times-bestselling master of
international intrigue takes readers into the bleeding-edge
world of technological espionage in a propulsive thriller
that feels chillingly real.
Former chief of the
British Secret Intelligence Service Adrian Weston is awoken
in the middle of the night by a phone call from the Prime
Minister. Her news is shocking: the Pentagon, the NSA, and
the CIA have been hacked simultaneously, their seemingly
impenetrable firewalls breached by an unknown enemy known
only as "The Fox." Even more surprisingly, the culprit is
revealed to be a young British teenager, Luke Jennings. He
has no agenda, no secrets, just a blisteringly brilliant
mind. Extradition to the U.S. seems likely—until Weston has
another idea: If Luke can do this to us, what can he do to
After conferring with both the American
President and the Prime Minister, Weston is determined to
use "The Fox" and his talents to the advantage of the two
nations. But doing so places the boy on a geopolitical
minefield. Adrian must stay one step ahead of multiple
invisible enemies, all while finding a way to utilize the
most powerful—and most unpredictable—weapon of
With his trademark research and deep knowledge
of the rules and practices of international intrigue,
Forsyth takes on tomorrow's threats in this