The Dealer and the Dead Paperback – Feb 16 2011
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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
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
In a class of his own―The Times on THE WAITING TIME
How Seymour develops these characters and manipulates them until they all end up in Vukovar is a testament to his talent and skill―Publishers Weekly
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
A forceful, kinetic narrative―Independent on THE COLLABORATOR
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"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.
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!
I've had a bit of a problem in the past with Seymour's technique of switching the focus of his narrative back and forth among different characters, but in this case it helped paint a intricate backdrop to the story and developed the cast of strong characters in great detail. It's extremely well written and, although the plot is a bit dense and complicated, a thoroughly satisfying read.
This is a great book by an author who seems to just get better and better.
Gerald Seymour is absolutely one of the best thriller authors in the business; This novel, like all of his others, is utterly compelling but not at all what you would call "escape fiction." It's all too real.
Unfortunately, I had no interest in the set-piece climax to the story since the build up was far too laboured and brought no suspense, I had difficulty believing that anyone/everyone would have a reason to be there. Most of the characters I found to be somewhat stereotyped (especially the retired Spook) and I had sympathy only with the protection officer and Harvey. It pains me to say this but I believe that too much was made of describing the atrocities in the conflict - most people have heard of the types of very bad events that usually happen in such circumstances. As in other aspects of the book the detailed descriptions didn't add to the story, just took up time and turned this into a marathon hike rather than an interesting trip.
I would rather have re-read some of Mr Seymour's earlier works.