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The Dealer and the Dead [Paperback]

Gerald Seymour
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 16 2011
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.

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Review

In a class of his own The Times on THE WAITING TIME A dense, intensely satisfying thriller from one of the modern masters of the craft, Seymour's latest novel will remind the world just how phenomenally accomplished a thriller writer he is. Daily Mail on THE COLLABORATOR A forceful, kinetic narrative Independent on THE COLLABORATOR Tight writing and meticulous research ... an artist's brush that lingers equally on the grime, the glitter and the blood Peter Millar, The Times on THE COLLABORATOR Intricately researched incidents that surge to a dramatic crescendo Telegraph on THE COLLABORATOR A superb feat of storytelling by a master of his craft Sunday Telegraph on THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER A genuinely exciting epic Daily Telegraph on THE UNTOUCHABLE

About the Author

Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. He has been a full-time writer since 1978. Seymour's first novel was the acclaimed thriller Harry's Game, set in Belfast, and since then six of his thrillers have been filmed for television in the UK and US. THE DEALER AND THE DEAD is Seymour's twenty-seventh novel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading March 3 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pluses: original, good suspense. Minuses: a little repetitive at times, some useless characters. Had the novel been shorter and less repetitive, would have deserved five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kill or Be Killed July 9 2011
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Englishman Harvey Gillot, gun runner and arms broker extraordinaire, is what many of us might call a merchant of death for hire. His job is to equip the many fighting armies of the Middle East and the Balkans with which to invade each other's territories while defending there own. What he doesn't quite realize, but is about to find out, is that the business he's in comes with its own personal risks if the goods aren't delivered as promised. Failure to deliver, as promised, those critical rockets, firearms, and ammunition and all of a sudden he becomes the target for someone's wrath. Though the author portrays Gillot as a man of questionable motives and scruples, he does not intentionally short change his customers, especially when survival is at stake. But tell that to a Croatian village that has suffered considerable human losses at the hands of attacking Serbs because the weapons failed to turn up. Seymour does a masterful job in taking the reader through a very complex and suspenseful misadventure where Gillot becomes the target of an assassin's bullet as part of this village's efforts to get even with him. In this reversal of roles, Gillot is suddenly a man on the run. In this cat and mouse game, the predator and his quarry demonstrate a glaring inability to avoid trouble. First, the gunman for hire can't seem to finish off the job, and poor old Gillot is unable to put any distance between himself and his pursuer. As both Robbie, the assassin, and Gillot, the arms dealer, converge on this Balkan town - one to clear up the dreadful misunderstanding, the other to complete the deadly task - there comes a moment of truth. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption on the Kukuruzni Put Sept. 26 2010
By Joseph Haschka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
(Note: This review is of the hardcover edition.)

"Is there anywhere with no myths and no legends? Have you heard of such a place?" - from THE DEALER AND THE DEAD

In 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence, a small Croat village near Vukovar defends itself against Serb forces. The settlement's only chance for survival lies with a promised shipment of anti-tank weapons purchased with every liquid asset the inhabitants possess. But, a casual act of betrayal means the arms never arrive; the town is captured and brutalized by the invaders. Now, nineteen years later, an old grave is discovered and the survivors are provided a name on whom to exact vengeance. In this part of the world, hatreds are intense and never, ever, die.

In my opinion, Gerald Seymour is the very best thriller author writing today. His stories are sophisticated, complex and ingeniously constructed; the plots are drawn from contemporary world events and evolve in the grey regions of civilization's gritty and grotty margins. I've read all of his books save THE COLLABORATOR, which awaits my attention on a bookshelf much like a racked bottle of much treasured, vintage wine. THE DEALER AND THE DEAD may be the best of the author's offerings to date.

As usual, Seymour populates his story with a wealth of deftly drawn characters, none of which could even remotely be considered "super-heroes" in the popular sense. (There are no James Bonds or Jack Reachers. Not even a Spider Shepherd, Gabriel Allon or Nick Stone.) All are fairly ordinary - much like you or I - with personal lives that may incorporate a humdrum job or troubled personal relationships. But all of them, especially the civil servant types, persevere. And it's their perseverance that achieves a sort of nobility even though the victory against the adversity of the moment - indeed, it's the nature of the adversity that falls into the grey area - is ultimately pyrrhic in nature. (That's what I savor in this author's stories - there are rarely absolute winners or losers. It mimics real life.)

Here, we have the aging, bitter survivors of the Croatian community, a retired operative of the Secret Intelligence Service, a small-time London hit man, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office investigator probing arms trafficking, a physician specializing in survivor psychology, a forensic scientist who travels the world uncovering the grave sites linked with atrocities, a Planet Protection activist who crusades against international weapons sales, a detective sergeant of the Serious (or Specialist) Crime Directorate 7 of the London Metropolitan Police charged with thwarting assassins and protecting their identified targets, and an arms dealer with a winning smile. The paths of all will cross at the end of the Cornfield Road (Kukuruzni Put).

Gerald Seymour pens for grown-ups.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning and middle... May 8 2013
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Others have described the plot well. Seymour is a master writer--this would be a 5 star book by almost anyone else, but he has set the bar high in his previous books. This one novel has more interesting, believable characters than the entire works of Lee Child and John Sandford. The book is very exciting and the writing is extraordinarily crisp.

Sadly, the book has 2 major flaws:

1. Without giving spoilers, the expert assassin's behavior is sometimes inexplicable.

2. The ending is drawn out and not credible in comparison to the very realistic rest of the novel.

My biggest complaint, however, is that Seymour's books are often not released in the US until years after their release elsewhere, which can make them seem a bit dated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb May 7 2012
By Igor Dumbadze - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the story draws you in - and as the incredible web is woven and interwoven, the characters act and interact, the intricacies of the plot evolve - the reader becomes a part of the "kukuruznyh pute" in a way that has you taking the walk with Harvey Gillett at the end.

The ending is up for grabs until the very end; a few of the characters will surprise you, a few may puzzle you - although the somewhat unusual explanations at the end provide some interesting alternatives - one character in particular will amuse you at best. You may never look at a field of corn quite the same way.

Well done. Look forward to the next tale.

Gerald Seymour does very well what several of my favorite authors (i.e. Forsythe, LeCarre) do: takes ordinary people and puts them into situations which test their internal makeup; sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail; there are issues of trust, disappointment and acknowledgement of what is often a very harsh reality. Nothing is very straight forward and there is no obvious right or wrong. He develops the plot in a methodical way that captures and enhances all of these factors. At the same time he interweaves a fascinating plot, rich in history, suspense and intrigue. Really good stuff!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spot on March 12 2012
By vonk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good story in line with the style of Gerald Seymour. Very interesting and sugested for a reader that loves a good story.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense you can read right through July 31 2011
By JohnT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Vintage Gerald Seymour, the range of will and emotion for each character is drawn out so that you would probably say you had known these people for years. Everyone involved seems to ache and break until...
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