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This chillingly believable thriller from British author Seymour (Rat Run) charts the course of a shy young terrorist from Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Hussein (known as a "walking dead" for the explosive vest he wears), as Hussein works his way closer and closer to detonating his bomb-in Luton, a town 30 miles north of London. Seymour shifts agilely between the terrorists, led by mastermind Muhammad Ajaq (known as the Scorpion), and those in the U.K. whose job it is to stop the oncoming carnage, in particular David Banks, a detective constable authorized to carry firearms. Much of the interest for readers will be trying to guess how the many characters, including assorted bystanders whose lives become enmeshed in the increasingly complex proceedings, will receive his or her moment on stage. Seymour handles all the elements like the professional he is as the twisting plot builds to a satisfying conclusion. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Seymour (Rat Run) forsakes the black-and-white view of post-9/11 popular fiction, delving into the grays of motivation and response. The strands of his multiple narratives begin to connect as a planned suicide attack comes closer to fruition. The author examines his characters-a disaffected security officer, a sleazy juror, a retiring functionary, and the terrorists-from various angles, raising questions about the necessity and morality of action outside the bounds of law. Minor characters play a role in the climax, but including their stories detracts from the overall pacing. Despite this slight flaw, this is still highly recommended for all libraries.
“A master of his craft”
Posted September 10, 2011
After having given very high marks to Seymour's latest novel, The Collaborator, I checked out this one to get acquainted with his previous works. I can see why a review has yet to be written. This novel is not a beach read. In fact, it can be rather exasperating as there are so many characters and sub characters, each with a story to be told. Seymour alternates between each, and that slows the tension of the tale. Further, each character does not really have so much of a story worth telling. The introduction of the FBI agent from Saudi Arabia is not quite credible and he is a somewhat irritating character. But, if you can get through those impediments, there is considerable reward in the main tale. We follow a group of terrorists who have been activated to arrange a suicide bomber in Britain. The leader of the group, the awakened sleepers, and the bomber himself, the walking dead man, are the heart of the story, and Seymour brings them to life quite credibly. Less successful are the government agents, who in the midst of office politics and misguided goals may not be up to the task of discovering the cell in time to prevent the attack. Can one discarded agent, caught up in the story of his dead relative, ( a story way overdone) be up to the task? Struggle through all of the distractions and you will find enough of a story here to interest you. It's more like 3 and 1/2 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.