Like all Frederick Forsyth’s thrillers, The Fourth Protocol, is a riveting story of good guys—Britain and her allies—versus the bad guys of the Soviet bloc.
The story begins in London with the New Year’s Eve diamond heist from the home of a civil servant. Despite the jewels’ fame and value, the theft goes unreported.
The thief has unwittingly made off with something more valuable.
When he finds out what he has, he tries to set things right.
A package containing the inadvertently stolen item is delivered to Brigadier Bertie Clapstick at the Ministry of Defense.
Clapstick he calls John Preston, who had worked undercover for him in Northern Ireland. The wife of a jeweler had already called Preston to tell relate her husband’s words as he died from the injuries delivered by unknown assailants.
Preston convinces Clapstick and a few others that there’s a traitor in the Service. Those of his superiors who respect his work set Preston on the case.
Preston saves Britain, but is forced to realize its government doesn’t make the world better—a truth not unlike that embedded in novel’s dedication to Forsyth’s five-year-old son “without whose loving attentions this book would have been written in half the time.”
The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth
Viking Penguin. ©1984. 389 p.
1984 bestseller #7. My grade: B+
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni