A modern classic from one of the great thriller writers of our era.
But rules are made to be broken and there is word on the street that inside the Brigade is a tout, an informer, someone who has taken the Crown's gold. When he is uncovered, he will be interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot.
Gary Brennard, an inexperienced M15 field agent, and Parker, who runs the informer, have to protect their man, codenamed 'Song Bird', at all costs. He is their only access to a fiercely tightknit organisation, the critical asset to hold onto until the stakes are high enough...and if the innocent step into the crossfire, that's just unfortunate.
Jon Jo Donnelly, a legend in his own time, is an IRA assassin on undercover assignment in the heart of England with his sniper rifle and cache of explosives. Back in Donnelly's Ulster home town, Song Bird is a British Security Service (MI5) informant embedded in the IRA infrastructure. Gary "Bren" Brennard, a newbie to MI5, is rushed over in short order to Northern Ireland to help run Song Bird after his predecessor's cover is blown.
Jon Jo is killing at will in Britain's hinterland. The PM wants his head on a platter yesterday. MI5's plan is to lure Donnelly back to his farm and family, at which time he can be isolated by Song Bird for elimination by Her Majesty's forces.
The focus of this thriller isn't Jon Jo, Song Bird or Bren. Rather, it's young Cathy Parker, ruefully characterized as "a slip of a thing" by the Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whose ears have been burned by Parker's no-compromise lecture on Song Bird's importance. Cathy is Bren's boss on the ground and the informer's recruiter and chief handler.
In Seymour's other novels that I've read, the primary protagonist's motives are revealed. In Parker's case, we learn little of her background other than she's the renegade daughter of affluent English parents.Read more ›