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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A British mercenary goes after Osama bin Laden
I really liked this book, mostly because of the authenticity of the descriptions and the very exciting plot.
The story covers the period December 2001 to March 2002. This is just after the Americans and some coalition countries have invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power.
The "hero", Thomas Morgan, a former soldier (and thief) in the British...
Published on 5 Jan. 2006 by Rennie Petersen

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless and Boring
A Hostile Place fits in that loosely defined genre of "Action Thriller". Unfortunately it fails to contain any believable action or an ounce of thrill. Set in Afghanistan a number of months after 9/11, the story follows a professional ex-British Army soldier who is tasked with killing Osama Bin Laden. Unfortunately the plot is thin, the characters are cyphers, and the...
Published on 12 Nov. 2010 by DTK Molise


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A British mercenary goes after Osama bin Laden, 5 Jan. 2006
By 
Rennie Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
I really liked this book, mostly because of the authenticity of the descriptions and the very exciting plot.
The story covers the period December 2001 to March 2002. This is just after the Americans and some coalition countries have invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power.
The "hero", Thomas Morgan, a former soldier (and thief) in the British Army, is now a mercenary in Afghanistan. He and some other ex-soldiers are hunting down Taliban and al-Qaeda members and collecting the rewards offered by the Americans. They're modern bounty hunters.
Thomas Morgan gets injured and is then offered a job he can't say no to. Either go after Osama bin Laden for a share of the $25 million reward money, or go directly to jail.
All of the above happens in the first two chapters.
The rest of the book describes how Thomas Morgan and some others then attempt to do the job. Morgan is a key figure, as he has many years of experience as a soldier in Afghanistan, and can even successfully pass as a member of the Taliban.
This is a dark and cynical story. Morgan is disillusioned and is doing a job against his will, and nobody in the book has honorable motives. Morgan, who tells the story in the first person, is constantly unsure of whether or not he can trust the people who are supposed to be working with him. The American and British forces certainly want Osama bin Laden dead, but are they using Morgan in some kind of game where Morgan is completely expendable?
It's a very exciting story, and the descriptions of life in war-torn Afghanistan seem to be very authentic. The author, John Fullerton, certainly has the proper background to provide authenticity: In the early 1980's he was working in Afghanistan behind Soviet lines as a British agent, and he covered the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan as a journalist.
It is also a rather violent story. Death and near-death injuries and sickness and freezing cold are all daily fare in Afghanistan. Marching on after having lost a toenail is remarked on in passing and sleeping on the ground in freezing weather without a sleeping bag is standard procedure.
Another eye opening bit of information is the descriptions of how women are treated in Afghanistan.
Highly recommended if you like military action books. The lack of the fifth star is due to the plot being a little bit too far out, although generally believable and very exciting.
Rennie Petersen
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angry, moving and elegant thriller, 4 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
An angry, elegant and moving thriller full of double-crosses, A Hostile Place is fast and furious - but it's Western politicians amd their spies who are the bad guys this time round. As good as Eric Ambler's Passage of Arms or Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male, this is a novel to be read at a single sitting. The author's grasp of the place and the people (Afghanistan and Afghans)is unerringly accurate. Lean, hard and beautifully-written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars taught thriller with a powerful twist, 6 July 2003
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
atmospheric, strong characterisation, well-plotted, a twist in the tale and highly readable, this combines espionage of the le carre school with action of the mcnab variety. a very strong book. highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inside the mind of a terrorist, 28 Jun. 2003
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
what's it like to be a terrorist? how does he think and feel? what is it like to be shot at, pursued, run to ground? what is afghanistan realy like? a hostile place has it all. a really powerful story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good -- but The Monkey House was better!, 28 Jun. 2004
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
After the excellent debut of "The Monkey House" Mr Fullerton set the bar very high."A Hostile Place" falls a little short of the standard set in the first novel-- principally because the plot is not quite so flawless as that of its predecessor. But that having been said, like one of the other reviewers, I would put money on this book being much more lasting than most of the crop of contemporary thrillers -- simply because the writing is of such a high standard.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a killer thriller, 30 Jun. 2003
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
Take a pinch of le carre, another of len deighton, a soupcon of mcnab, and you've got something completely different here. It's a well-written, cleverly plotted thriller in fourth gear and the foot hard on the accelerator - all the way. The author really knows Afghanistan and its people - that's obvious. The story? Take a bounty hunter, a reward of $50 million and the world's most wanted man. But nothing is quite what it seems. It's a stitch up...but I better not say more. Buy it. Read it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Economist (July 12), 11 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
Political thriller
KABUL BOUNTY
"Anyone who is wondering what has happened to Osama bin Laden might enjoy taking this thriller to the beach.
"Thomas Morgan, soldier, spy, thief and would-be rich man, is the hero of John's Fullerton's second novel. Caught in a flawed attempt to 'liberate' the silverware from the British embassy in Kabul, he is easily persuaded by the sinister Quilty and the beautiful Mathilde, both of the British secret service, to carry out a rather more tricky operation...Without going into fun-wrecking detail, suffice it to say that Things Go Wrong, not least in the form of a minutely described attack of amoebic dysentery that should not be read immediately after breakfast.
"...Mr Fullerton knows what he is talking about, having reported for the Reuters news agency from Afghanistan and Pakistan and lived for two years in Peshawar in the 1980s, when it was home to the mujihadeen resistance. He gets the landscape right, and the people, with their curious mix of courtesy and savagery, right oo.
"But where the novel really scores is in its fundamental plausibility. If Mr bin Laden is still alive, rather than buried in a collapsed cave, this is exactly where he is most likely to be. Mr Fullerton makes you see just how difficult it would be for the Americans, for all their night-sights and image-intensifiers, SIGINT, ELINT and satellite photographs, to track a man down in such a landscape - specially one protected by the intracacies of kinship, shared battles and wealth.
"He's capable of a biting line in cynicism, too. 'Back then, the Soviets said they were fighting basmachi, bandits, backed by the Pakistani intelligence and the CIA,' says Morgan at one point. "Today, the Americans say they are fighting terrorism. In many cases, they were the same people.' Too true, alas, too true -- and the Sheik was one of them."
(The above appeared on page 81 in the book section of the July 12 edition of The Economist)
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me reading all night!, 5 Sept. 2003
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
I was there, in that bleak dusty landscape. I cared what happened and found the writing spare yet so eloquent. This book is a huge achievement and deserves to shoot right up to the top.
Watch this writer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best thriller for years, 4 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Hardcover)
This is the real Afghanistan. There's a war going on, and the author knows what it's like. This is an atmospheric, powerful thriller with a strong yet flawed hero, a clever plot and one hell of a climax. It's Le Carre and Andy McNab with a touch of John Simpson and Len Deighton. The story is simple - at least on the surface: A bounty hunter, a $25million reward and the world's most wanted man. But nothing is what it seems...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best contemporary thriller, 28 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Hostile Place (Paperback)
Start reading this, and you won't put it down. Even if you don't want to know what happened to Osama bin Laden, this is a fast-paced, atmospheric thriller with some nasty surprises...nothing is quite what it seems. the anti-hero is vulnerable, cynical with a past...it's andy mcnab, john simpson and le carre rolled into one. a great read.
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A Hostile Place
A Hostile Place by John Fullerton (Hardcover - 4 July 2003)
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