To Kill The President by Sam Bourne
To Kill The President has written by Jonathan Freedland, under the pseudonym name Sam Bourne, is not a usual crime fiction, which we get to read every now and then. In this book, the author’s focus was not the mystery, but to show what happens when a democracy is ruled and not run by an autocratic president.
The Story in Brief
The story is based on the present USA. The citizens has elected a misogynistic, aggressive, eccentric, bigot, highly egoistic, racist and sexist person as their President.
He was all set ready to wipe out two nations North Korea and China with the nuclear missile. Somehow this mishap was averted, but this unfortunate incident forced the top two personnel of the administration Kassian and Burton to think if such a president was capable of running the country. They plan to overthrow him. When
nothing was worked out, they decides to kill the President before he brings grave harm to the country’s democracy and its citizens.
This is in a nutshell the main story which has been told in the most riveting manner. in the subtle manner a mystery also unfold side by side but the focus is always the misrule of the President.
The main plot adopts heavily from the contemporary politics of the America and the character of the President seems to be inspired from Donald Trump, the current President of the USA.
A Practical and Moral Dilemma
Now a moral debate is continuously boiling in the story. Whether it is
democratically and morally correct to kill the leader of the country
who is trudging the nation on the dangerous path of destruction for
his monetary benefit and power hunger.
Killing a vile sexist president who tolerates and inflicts sexual
abuse is justified or not. Killing a president who is ready to nuke
two nations over a mere verbal altercation. Will it be a patriotic act
or assassination is the most undemocratic means to save democracy.
There is no easy answer to it.
This constant conscience debate has been effectively woven by the
author. It simmers continuously in the minds of characters like Dr.
Frankle, Kassian, Bruton and the protagonist Maggie Costello.
Kassian and Bruton looked upon it as a patriotic act as they were
saving the nation and the whole world from the hands of an incapable
President who was fully capable of destroying everything in a fit of
The protagonist Maggie Costello, on the other hand thinks otherwise.
She knows the country would be plunged deep into the darkness if the
President was killed. A civil war would start.
We, Indians, knows it is so much possible. It happened in our own
country when Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India was
assassinated in 1984. There was mass massacre and it has scarred our
nation. People still carry wounds of 1984 riot on their heart, mind
As I wrote earlier that To Kill The President is not a usual crime fiction. There is mystery in it, but it is used as a bait to keep the readers hooked. The novels, actually, dwells upon the more serious issues.
The author with his great writing style has managed to keep everything under the control so that the plot, the moral and ethical debate and the mystery sync properly to give an overall great reading experience to the readers.
About The Author Sam Bourne
Sam Bourne is the pen name of the famous and award winning journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland. He has written many crime thriller in which five are international bestseller which includes The
Righteous Man, The Final Reckoning, The Last Testament, The Chosen One and Pantheon.
So why did Jonathan writes pseudonym Sam Bourne. He writes weekly columns for The Guardian and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary history series, The Long View. He has also covered the 2016 US election campaign as the correspondent of the Guardian and has also written two serious non fiction. He has a image set which might not go well with crime thriller. That’s why the name Sam Bourne.
Book Similar To Kill The President
It is so obvious when you love reading one particular book, you start looking for similar such books. This is the way bibliophile mind works. We can never have enough and want to devour more.
So I luckily stumble upon a number of books which are similar to To Kill The President dealing with the same question, similar dilemma and similar drama but President is not evil. Here’s the list but I haven’t read any of these book till now, so can not give my personal views.
So the first book in the list is The Dead Zone by Stephen King. This one is very similar to To Kill The President and here the man in question is Hitler. The book raises a similar dilemma if you knew the leader running the country will be the cause of major world destruction will you assassinate him.
Next book Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker takes us to the atrocities of the President George W Bush and his administration specially civic terror unleashed in Iraq. This book has received mixed reaction but I think it is worth a read.
Fahrenheit 9-11 by Michael Moore is yet another critically acclaimed book on Bush and his administration and terrible things they committed in Iraq.
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth is still consider to be an ultimate masterpiece crime thriller. It is fiction based written with such conviction that you will wonder if it happened for real. A deadly assassin is given a practically impossible task to kill President Charles de Gaulle of France.
One can also include Jeffrey Archer’s Shall We Tell the President in this list. It not the best by Archer but still in this fiction, the first woman President’s life is in danger.