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.