Having read both A Line in the Sand and No Mortal Thing. I thought I would write about prolific Bitish novelist Gerald Seymour who was born 25 November 1941 in Guildford, Surrey. He worked. Initially as a journalist, before joining ITN in 1963, covering such topics as the Great Train Robbery, Vietnam War, The Troubles, the Munich Olympics massacre, Germany’s Red Army Faction, Italy’s Red Brigades and Palestinian militant groups. His first book, Harry’s Game, was published in 1975, and Seymour then became a full-time novelist, living in the West Country. In 1999, he featured in the Oscar-winning television film, One Day in September, which portrayed the Munich massacre. He has been a full-time writer since 1978. Many Television adaptations have also been made of his books including Harry’s Game, The Glory Boys, The Contract, Red Fox, The Informant based on Field of Blood, A Line in the Sand and The Waiting Time. His bibliography includes:
Harry’s Game (1975),
A British cabinet minister is gunned down by an IRA assassin, leaving an undercover agent to track down the killer.
The Glory Boys (1976),
An Arab terrorist, the only survivor of a three-man hit squad ambushed by Israeli Intelligence in France, plans to murder Israel’s leading nuclear scientist on a visit to London. McCoy, an IRA mercenary, is to provide him with the weapons. Jimmy, who works for British Intelligence, must find them. It was made into a 3-part TV mini-series in 1984 by Yorkshire Television, starring Rod Steiger, Anthony Perkins, Alfred Burke and Joanna Lumley.
A story of three Soviet dissidents, Ukrainian Jews, who hijack a plane to escape to the West. They land in England but it is not certain how they will be treated – as political refugees or murderous criminals?
When Italy’s most ruthless terrorist is captured, her lover uses a British businessman, who has been kidnapped in Rome, as a bargaining tool to free her and unleashes forces which threaten to escape everyone’s control. It was made into a TV mini-series in 1991, starring John Hurt, Jane Birkin and Brian Cox, but reset in France with the terrorists members of Action directe.
Set against a backdrop of the treacherous East/West German border, this tells of the journey to redemption of a disgraced British army officer who requires the defection of a top flight Soviet scientist.
Running a small errand for the British Intelligence Service turns into a nightmare for a young man when he is arrested by the Soviet Secret Police and sentenced to 15 years in a desolate labour camp.
In Honour Bound
Barney Crispin, SAS captain, is sent urgently to the Afghanistan border on the direct order of the Foreign Secretary. His mission is to organise the destruction of one of the new Soviet helicopters and to bring its secret parts back to Britain.
Field of Blood
Two men, one ex-IRA, the other a reluctant British Lieutenant, become pawns in a deadly political game of cat-and-mouse.
A Song in the Morning
Jeez Curwen, a British undercover agent, is captured taking part in a terrorist attack in apartheid-era South Africa. By the time his son Jack discovers that the British government has washed its hands of his father’s case, Jeez has only three weeks to live. Aided by the ANC, Jack decides to free him.
At Close Quarters
A diplomat and an Israeli master sniper plan to walk by night into the Beqa’a valley in east Lebanon, home of Palestinian revolutionary groups, in search of one man. They are far into the Beqa’a, out of reach, when their cover is blown and Syrian Intelligence alerted to their approach.
Mattie Furniss is ordered to Iran by British Intelligence to fortify his remaining agents and stimulate a flow of information. Unknown to him, Mattie’s mission is about to be blown wide open by political pressures, and he is soon left alone in a hostile environment where his every move is tracked.
A thriller set against the background of Saddam Hussein’s annexation of Kuwait and his efforts to arm Iraq with nuclear weapons. An attempt to recruit a British nuclear scientist falls foul of an FBI man’s vendetta against a British terrorist who killed his best friend.
The Journeyman Tailor
Gary Brennard is young and keen, just the qualities his MI5 desk chief seeks for an undercover operation in Northern Ireland. There is a suspicion that an informer is among the villagers of County Tyrone.
The Fighting Man
Thrown out of the SAS, Gord Brown is working on a fish farm in Scotland when he is found by Central American Indians on a mission to recruit a “fighting man” for an uprising against the Guatemalan military dictatorship. Gord joins up as deputy leader of the rag-tag group in this adventure thriller.
The Heart of Danger
The international community had promised it would hunt down the war criminals of Yugoslavia, but when the body of a young Englishwoman is exhumed from a mass grave in Croatia, her mother cries for justice and is ignored. Private investigator Bill Penn takes on the case.
A young English schoolteacher, Charlotte Parsons, is invited to resume her job as nanny to the children of a well-to-do Sicilian family. But this time Charley is the central figure in a desperate plot by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to trap Mario Ruggerio, would-be head of the Sicilian Mafia.
The Waiting Time
On a winter’s night at the height of the Cold War, in a small town on the Baltic coast of East Germany, a young man is dragged from the sea and killed by the regime’s secret police. The witnesses are terrorised into silence. A decade later the man’s lover sets out to attain justice.
A Line in the Sand
In a village on the Suffolk coast, Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive. A decade ago, he spied for the government on the Iranian chemical and biological weapons installations. Now Iran has despatched its most lethal assassin to take revenge. Can Perry’s protectors stop him?
Holding the Zero
A suspense novel set against the backdrop of the Gulf War, where two of the world’s greatest snipers fight a duel in the hills of northern Iraq.
Albert Packer is master of all he surveys. He rules the manor with an iron fist. For 20 years, he has had it all his own way – the police and intelligence services have targeted him but have yet to get close to any sort of effective prosecution.
Officially the Cold War is over. Between former enemies, the hand of friendship is exchanged in public. In private, though, the intelligence war goes on.
The Unknown Soldier
Hidden in the empty vastness of the world’s greatest desert a tiny caravan of fugitives and camels moves painfully slowly towards its goal. However Above them, quartering the desert, is the unmanned Predator aircraft that is invisible in the cloudless skies and that carries Hellfire missiles and is aiming to stop them
When word spreads that Military Intelligence officer Malachy Kitchen, posted to Iraq, was ‘yellow’ under hostile fire, his life starts to disintegrate. Kicked out of the army, he becomes an isolated recluse on a drugs-infested London estate. But the mugging of an elderly widow draws him to regain his lost pride.
The Walking Dead
A young man starts a journey from a village in Saudi Arabia. He believes his life will end in faraway England. There, David Banks is a Metropolitan Police armed protection office charged with neutralising the terrorist threat. On a spring morning in a suburban town these two men’s paths will cross. Before then their commitment will be shaken by the journeys that take them there.
Fired from a top-secret Soviet nuclear base a Russian KGB officer steals a suitcase bomb – a tactical nuclear weapon. Fifteen years later, still harbouring resentment over being discarded and abandoned, the Russian aims to sell it to the highest bidder – the Russian Mafia. Against them a small and dedicated MI6 team and a Metropolitan Police undercover man. With the clock ticking down to the handover the MI6 team must find the Russian Mafia gang and their undercover man and stop the sale of the bomb. The novel attracts interest on a number of levels. Firstly, it presents graphic descriptions of Nazi brutality. It is this brutality that shaped willingness of a man two generations later to participate in this scheme, even though he had no need for the large sum he would obtain through brokering the transaction. Further, it describes the undercover man, and his exposure to events conducive to the “Stockholm Syndrome.”
The prime reason Immacolata Borelli came to Britain was to look after her gangster brother, wanted for multiple murders back home in Naples. The Borelli clan are major players in the Camorra, and they will not lose their criminal empire without a vicious fight. They will use any tactic and any person in a brutal struggle to keep control of their territory in the city, and to prevent her from giving evidence against them. This novel throws a stunning light into the dark world of the Camorra.
The Dealer and the Dead
Eighteen years after the barbarous war with the Serbs that tore their communities apart, a group of Croatian villagers discover the identity of the Englishman who they believe betrayed them by welching on a deal to supply arms. With revenge in sight at last, they hire a professional killer from London to track him down …but is the story as simple as they think? A brilliant, bruising thriller, told in a unique way, about what happens when the hand of the past suddenly reaches out to the present – and is holding a gun. Benjamin Cumberland Arbuthnot (Benjie) and his wife Deidre are significant to the story. He is a retired senior SIS officer.
A Deniable Death
“Two British operatives, known as Badger and Foxy, experts in covert surveillance, are sent to the Iran-Iraq border to watch the house of a man they call the Engineer for his deadly, expert combinations of high explosives and circuit boards that are causing havoc among NATO troops in Iraq. The tradecraft of silent watching and the discomfort, thirst and increasing claustrophobia of the hideout are brought … to life…. Asis the grim landscape of the border region and the harsh lives of its inhabitants…: the flat plains and marshes…, the minefields and burned-out tanks still rusting from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the wretched locals who make a living, and dying, by digging up ordnance and selling it for scrap. The Engineer believes himself a soldier at war and a patriot, just as his victims do. His wife Naghmeh, a doughty activist demanding that the minefields be cleared, is suffering from a terminal brain tumour and needs urgent medical treatment in the West. Death duly comes, but to more places than expected.”
“Winnie Monks, known as ‘the Boss’, is in charge of the Organised Crime Group. When one of the team is kicked to death and his hand severed, Winnie vows she will bring his killer to justice. Years pass, and government cuts reduce her team. But she learns that the killer is ‘the Major’, a Russian gangster en route to Marbella…. Winnie mounts an operation to bring about his destruction….
The Corporal’s Wife
“An Iranian soldier sits in an MI6 safe house. He may only be a corporal, but as chauffeur to a top general he knows many secrets, such as the location of nuclear sites. But the Corporal won’t talk unless they bring his wife out of Iran, too. So the SAS are asked to do the job – but they say it’s impossible. Which is how Zach Bennett, a university drop-out recruited for his language skills, and a rag-tag team of three ex-soldiers find themselves on a mission to Tehran. If they are caught, it will mean certain death. And the Corporal’s wife – fiery, independent and beautiful – is not the kind of person Zach was expecting. In fact, she’s not like anyone he’s ever met in his life.”
“Danny Curnow, known in the army family by his call sign, Vagabond, ran agents, informers. Played God with their lives and their deaths, and was the best at his job – and he quit when the stress overwhelmed him. Now he lives in quiet isolation and works as a guide to tourists visiting the monuments and cemeteries of an earlier, simpler, conflict on Normandy’s D-Day beaches. Until the call comes from an old boss, Bentinick. Violence in Northern Ireland is on the rise again. Weapons are needed for a new campaign. Gaby Davies of MI5, sparky and ambitious, runs the double agent Ralph Exton, who will be the supposed middle man in brokering an arms deal with a Russian contact, Timofey. The covert world of deception and betrayal was close to destroying Danny across the Irish Sea. Fifteen years later the stakes are higher, the risks greater, and there is an added agenda on the table. If he wants to survive, Danny will have to prove, to himself, that he has not softened, that he is as hard and ruthless as before.”
“No Mortal Thing”
“Two young men – Jago and Marcantonio – both studying business and finance and a woman who knows where evil lives. Jago is a kid from a rough part of London who has worked hard to get a job in a bank and is now on a fast-track secondment to the Berlin office. Marcantonio is one of the new generation in the ‘Ndrangheta crime families from Calabria, Southern Italy. He is in Germany to learn how to channel their illicit millions towards legitimate businesses all over Europe. When Jago witnesses Marcantonio commit a vicious assault and the police seem uninterested, the Englishman refuses to let the matter drop. But by pursuing the gangster to his grandfather’s mountain lair, Jago is stepping into the middle of a delicate surveillance operation, which sets alarm bells ringing in Rome, London and Berlin. It also leads him to Consolata, a young woman who sees in Jago the chance to turn her non-violent protest campaign against the crime families into something altogether more lethal…”
“In a moment of nerve shredding suspense that will affect many thousands of lives, a handful of men and women will converge on a barren stretch of Yemeni desert. Each of them will need spirit, courage and immense luck to survive the next forty-eight hours. Corrie Rankin is already a legend at MI6 when he is called back with little regard for the horrors of his recent past. Corrie is sent to take advantage of a chance to take down a high value player in the war against Al Qaeda – and, a chance for the Brits to succeed without begging help from the Americans. The sniper and his spotter who will go with Corrie are less than top team, but the best that can be found if the mission is to stay ‘deniable’. And once the three misfits are in-country, they must rely on intelligence brought to them by a young British Jihadi – on the ground and close to the target – and now turned. And, close to him, is an archaeologist digging in the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’ civilisation who will be their cut-out contact point. The mission is the brain-child of an apparently old, fat fool in a striped cricket blazer, a sweating figure of fun among the ex-pat community across the border in Muscat. This is Jericho … not as old or fat or foolish as he appears, nor as harmless. This is Jericho’s War. The weapons it deploys, the brutal aims it pursues, are state of the art. The fear it breeds and the raw bravery it demands are as timeless as the desert itself.”