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The Watchman Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Watchman



Putnam, August 2004, 24.95, 272 pp.
ISBN 0399151737

Dr. Louis Finney has not been in the game for over two decades, ever since he saw the results of his mentor Dr. Arthur Noble's research on people who were treated as expendable mentally ill human beings. Their research was instrumental in creating the techniques used today to get a spy to open up their minds and spill their secrets without breaking them entirely.

Unexpectedly, Noble calls on Finney to observe the techniques that are being used on Ali Zattout, a terrorist in the Al Qaeda organization. Noble is rushed to the hospital leaving Finney to be the only watcher to judge the effectiveness of the techniques. There is a mole in the unit that the prisoner is in and when he is killed, Dr. Finney takes over the interrogation. Louis has more to worry about than breaking one terrorist for Al Qaeda is worried about the secrets he could reveal. They send over an assassin who systematically kills everyone in the prison's terrorist cell before he makes a daring move on the command center where Zattout is held.

The prose is stark and gritty reflecting the claustrophobic cell in the compound. The actions takes place on two levels: the authorities try to run the assassin to ground while the doctors need to break the subject mentally so he can spill their secrets.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Watchman

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Medical Thriller    -   Yes Medical Plotlets:    -   psychiatrist messes up mind Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   preventing/finding assassin Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's the terrorist enemy here?    -   arabs and/or muslims

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius

Setting

United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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John Altman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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