cover image The Fox

The Fox

Frederick Forsyth. Putnam, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-53842-4

A lifetime of experience from both bestseller Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal) and his lead character, Sir Adrian Weston, informs every page of this terrifically entertaining spy thriller in the classic tradition. Sir Adrian may be retired from the British Secret Intelligence Service, of which he was once deputy chief, but he remains Prime Minister Marjory Graham’s personal adviser on matters concerning national security. When the U.S. National Security Agency is hacked, and it turns out that the perpetrator is Luke Jennings, an 18-year-old computer genius in the U.K., Adrian not only offers advice but comes up with a plan. After convincing the American president, a thinly disguised stand-in for Donald Trump, that there’s a major espionage opportunity here, Adrian initiates Operation Troy, whose object is “the greatest deception in the history of the cyberworld.” Adrian ensconces Luke, now known as the Fox, with his computer and his mother in a series of British safe houses while the spymaster concocts devilishly clever online attacks on the Russians, Iranians, and North Koreans. The risks for Adrian and Luke increase with each operation. That these attacks seem to explain some real-life events make the book even more fascinating. Along the way, Forsyth details the nuts and bolts of modern espionage. Genre fans will be enthralled. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Oct.)