Seymour, Gerald - 'The Walking Dead'
Another outstanding story from this brilliant author, who has written 24 titles without one crock amongst them. Seymour, a former UK news journalist, always writes stories that are up to the minute in topicality whether, for example, they be about the British troubles in Belfast with the IRA, the Cold War, trouble in Iraq or as in this case, a suicide bomber.
To each of his books he brings his reporter's background in the meticulous plotting, with every detail carefully researched before putting pen to paper. If a location is mentioned you can be sure the details are correct because he has been there, which can give a lot of confidence to the reader.
In this book David Banks is a bored armed protection officer who inherits a journal on the Spanish Civil War experiences of a great-uncle and is gripped with self-doubt by the outstanding lucid courage displayed. In Saudi Arabia a potential suicide bomber is selected from several other candidates just because his walk is most like a European.
The book follows the gradual decline in Banks' confidence and esteem with his fellow protection officers after he speaks in supportive tones of the role of suicide bombers in an off the cuff remark. Because of this he is transferred to another duty and this is developed. It also traces the gradual build up of tension in the role of the suicide bomber and his helpers as the days pass and the day of the operation nears.
Whilst very interesting, the book seemed unnecessarily long, with Seymour giving several pages of narrative to characters that were only peripheral to the plot.
The book proceeded to an unexpected finale and I hope that he writes many, many more.
Terry Halligan, England