Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
As ever, compelling, dramatic, persuasive, and fun
on 3 January 2011
Mr Forsythe is a writer for whom credibility is everything. That's actually a requirement of this genre. Or else you become James Bond, who is really superman in a tuxedo. To avoid this, people must be flawed, have limitations, and the restrictions that life puts on us such as rank, status, income, and intellect.
The Negotiator, Quinn, is a rare James Bond moment for FF. He isn't quite Bond or Superman, but he is enigmatic, maverick, individual, a Clint Eastwiood figure, a man with [one] name. Larger than life, he is somebody who operates outside the system. Forsythe makes him fallible, but his many virtues somehow overcompensate. But this is another belter of a novel.
He is a master plotter, FF. He isn't a psychologist. One sits on Quinn's shoulder, not inside his head. So the details, layered over and again, bring the credibility to an exciting plot which is a bit more colourful than his previous novels. It is the fine details that paint pictures [as any woman's magazine will reveal] and to use a poker analogy, it is not only the full house that Forsythe reveals, it is how he plays his hand that captivates. Several times, I thought, one could end this book here. But another card was dealt and the game went on.
There are a lot of supporting characters and you speculate about who is on the inside and who is on the outside. Be prepared to be teased.
There is a female character, which is unusual for Forsythe. He 'doesn't do' women - this character is sadly one-dimensional, and a plot device really, and women otherwise do not inhabit the literary terrain of his espionage horizons. This is simply how it is. I'd be surprised if FF's subsequent seven novels changed it substantially.
The Negotiator fully possesses all the gifts brought to bear on FF's five predecessor novels, but the character of Quinn makes it a touch more colourful than those, and just edges it into less credible, but no less enjoyable, waters. As a fun, exciting, compelling drama, it is loaded, however - and will stick to your palm like glue.