It reminds me of the horrors that I've witnessed via the TV and other sources and how they've shaped me, either consciously or not. Bosnia is the lovely locale mainly used in this particular novel. Bosnia and all its 'recent' upheaval at the hands of Milosovec. Good times, ethnic cleansing...
/shudder (and oh, can't forget Vietnam. Good war-novel stuff.)
I will never understand discrimination in any shape. At least one of Mr. Ludlum's characters has a worldview, that while admittedly (both by the character and I) is not likely, is more to my taste: Celebrate our differences, do not persecute them.
Forsyth is much more realistic, obviously. His world I can buy. It tastes real. Only the strong survive. Sometimes. Even being strong isn't always the right answer. Sometimes you just have to get lucky.
Either way, I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy his work. It's interesting in a way. The author spent quite a long time in the military as well as a long stint as a journalist which is where I suppose the combination of political, military, and investigation came together to form the core of his books. But what I find interesting is that...even as such, it's unlikely that he happened to have come across all the detail required in his daily travel. Obviously he researches these things, etc...
How come *I* don't know anyone like this. If I had to ask the question: "How do I smuggle guns into a country?" I wouldn't know who to ask or where to go. :p
It's simply not fair. /harumph
Why am I so fascinated with spies, politicians, assassinations, etc...the 'behind the scenes' work of any government...and yet so uniquely not capable or truly knowledgeable of any of it. I'm more than the amateur, historian in this case, it's more like an amateur interest fed by books and tv shows. The only insight I've gleaned is that no matter how large the institution, its still fueled by people. Their motives, their dreams, their ideas. At what point does an idea gain the momentum to become an institution...something to kill for. To die for. To beleive in.
Am I missing something inside myself?
P.S. So I check the new york times after writing this? What do I see? Article about the UN Court declaring that the Bosnian Killings were Genocide. *blinks* You had to have a lawyer tell you that?! Then I read things about the current fun in Iraq...history, doomed to repeat. And then I wonder..what stories will we hear in a hundred years, or more..when all the relevant parties are dead and buried and time has ironed out the raw edges of hatred, leaving behind the stories and intentions that are missed, hidden, or glossed over now. And what might we know now that they won't then of intentions, both real and imagined, that make the stories make sense.