Seymour, E V - 'Resolution to Kill'
Following on from her outstanding third book in the series, LAND OF GHOSTS, Paul Tallis, an off-the-books spook for MI5, is taking time out after his last bruising mission in Russia, when he receives a personal plea for help from his Croatian-born mother to find Dario Garich, a lifelong family friend who has mysteriously gone missing; Tallis immediately flies to the Balkans. His quest unfortunately turns sour when he's abducted by 'The Alliance,' an elite covert American Special Ops organisation. Garich, it transpires, is a wanted man with a dirty history. Putting aside family loyalties, and under orders from his handler, Tallis is assigned to assist the Americans. Garich is traced but someone with a personal grudge gets to him first.
It seems that there is a team of Balkan women who were horrified by the actions of some of the United Nations troops who entered their countries during the 1990s, who did unspeakable things, and some are now in positions of importance and influence. So the ladies decide to take revenge and kidnap some of the most important men.
The superbly plotted and gripping story moves on with great rapidity to its very surprising conclusion. There are many other elements to RESOLUTION TO KILL not mentioned in this review that combine to make it a very exciting novel which I cannot recommend too highly.
This book, like all her titles, is extremely focused, as the action changes between several countries with a researched authenticity which is hard to fault, but there is inevitably quite a bit of violence. The author is very detailed in her research and is able to describe the background of all the locations and time periods with an authority which is very effective. I thought this story the best of the four 'Paul Tallis' titles but to really appreciate it, you should read the previous ones to trace the development of this unlikely protagonist. However, in saying that each story is self contained and the author goes to considerable pains to explain the back story.
This is a fast paced and very witty novel and the author has a real gift for blending the action sequences with the mundane trivial details of Tallis: he lives in a run-down bungalow near Birmingham, but drives a Boxster Porsche sports car; he continues to be told off by his mother, who is unaware that he has even has a job, never mind that he indirectly subcontracts to the government department of MI5 and that she would like him to settle down with a nice girlfriend.
On the cover of my copy it says "forget Bond, forget Bourne, meet Paul Tallis". Why not indeed? I think this author is just superb and I hope that you enjoy reading her books as much as I do. RESOLUTION TO KILL is yet another extremely readable example of her work, indeed another page-turner and I eagerly anticipate the next book.
[NB. RESOLUTION TO KILL is currently available for Kindle only.]
Terry Halligan, England