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The Dealer and the Dead [Paperback]

Gerald Seymour
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 May 2011

The arms dealer betrayed them. Now the survivors want revenge.SOMETIMES, surviving a war can almost seem worse than dying in it.

In a Croatian village near Vukovar, no one who survived will ever forget the night they waited for the weapons they needed to make a last-ditch fight against the advancing Serbs. The promised delivery never came, and the village was overrun. Eighteen years later, a body is unearthed from a field, and with it the identity of the arms dealer who betrayed them. Now the villagers can plot their revenge.

In leafy England, arms dealer Harvey Gillott regards himself as a man of his word. There is only one blemish on his record, and that was long ago. But Gillott, his family, his friends and his enemies are about to be pitched into a sequence of events that will unfold across Europe with breath-taking drama and almost biblical power.

Harvey Gillott is about to find out what happens when the hand of the past suddenly reaches out to the present - and it's holding a gun.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (23 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340918926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340918920
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years, where his first assignment was covering the Great Train Robbery in 1963. He later covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland.

Seymour's first novel was the acclaimed thriller Harry's Game, set in Belfast, which became an instant bestseller and later a television series. Six of Seymour's thrillers have now been filmed for television in the UK and US.

Gerald Seymour has been a full-time writer since 1978. The Dealer and the Dead is his twenty-seventh novel.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In a Croatian village near Vukovar, a body is unearthed in a field – that of an arms dealer. Nearly twenty years earlier, a betrayal had taken place, involving the dead man: the besieged villagers had been desperately waiting for an arms shipment that never arrived -- arms that would have given them a chance against the Serbs moving against them. But there was no delivery, and the village fell. The philosophy of the villagers is that revenge is a dish best served cold, and now knowing the identity of the person who betrayed them, they draw plans for payback. In England, arms dealer Harvey Gillott is about to be drawn into a dangerous situation – and he will find that the past has a very long reach.

This is the intriguing premise of The Dealer and the Dead, and it will prompt the customary noises of admiration for its author, Gerald Seymour. Enthusiasts often make extravagant claims for their favourite authors, but discerning thriller readers can safely say that the best practitioner currently working in the UK is the veteran Seymour. He is, quite simply, the most intelligent and accomplished in the current field, and even his misfires (of which there aren’t many) are more interesting than most of the competition. Here, we have a typically compromised Seymour anti-hero, a masterfully organised globe-spanning narrative and a mass of highly persuasive detail. When so many novelists are content with shop-worn plots, Seymour always manages to create fresh and original protagonists, and weaves for them situations that are unlike anything he (or his peers) has come up with before. The Dealer and the Dead is Seymour firing on all cylinders, and his rivals need, once again, to look to their laurels. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Seymour [is] incapable of creating a two-dimensional character . . . The ending is brilliantly orchestrated. (The Times)

Crisp, taut and contemporary, by a stylish writer. (Rachel Redford, the Observer)

'Discerning thriller readers can safely say that the best practitioner currently working in the UK is the veteran Seymour. He is, quite simply, the most intelligent and accomplished in the current field . . . Here, we have a typically compromised Seymour anti-hero, a masterfully organised globe-spanning narrative and a mass of highly persuasive detail. The Dealer and the Dead is Seymour firing on all cylinders, and his rivals need, once again, to look to their laurels. (Barry Forshaw)

With Seymour, not only do you get a cracking story deftly gold, but you also feel you are learning something. (Birmingham Press)

[Seymour's latest story] doesn't disappoint (Oxford Mail)

The final scenes are brilliantly orchestrated by Seymour, the sustained tension becoming almost unbearable . . . Without doubt, The Dealer and the Dead is one of the finest thrillers to be published so far this year. (Yorkshire Evening Post)

[Seymour's] meticulous research shines through in his latest thriller. (Oxford Times)

riveting stuff (Manly Daily)

'In a day when shop-worn plots in the disguise of well-written books are doing the rounds, The Dealer and the Dead comes as a refreshing, breathtaking story that keeps you gripped right till the very end. (Indian Express)

The Dealer and the Dead displays his usual ability to concoct a tightly controlled plot that is cleverly engineered . . . steadily crafted into a compelling tale . . . Another first-class thriller from the always reliable Seymour. (Canberra Times)

A tense thriller. (Choice)

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 simmering, multilayered account of the past catching up to the present . . . Those who are drawn to densely woven, slowly unfolding plots and thoughtful writing will rate this book a winner. Decades after establishing himself as a master of British spy fiction with Harry's Game, Seymour shows no signs of slowing down or losing relevance. (Kirkus)

Seymour loves detail, and THE DEALER AND THE DEAD serves it up brilliantly. He takes readers inside the minds and lives of a baker's dozen characters . . . The Bosnian conflict was spectacularly cruel. Two decades on, it continues to spur headlines and to provide potent plotlines for novelists. It's fitting that Seymour, one of the finest contemporary espionage novelists, shines his unique light on it. (Booklist Starred Review)

A war crime propels this stellar thriller . . . How Seymour develops [his] characters and manipulates them is testament to his talent and skill. (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvey's Game 8 July 2010
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Harvey Gillot - that's a name you're going to see mentioned more than a few times in The Dealer and The Dead. There are a number of strands that open up in the book following the aftermath of the war in a little village in Croatia and the work of investigators trying to uncover the crimes and atrocities committed there, but also ones that follow the activity of a UK police officer in Serious Crime Directorate, an investigator for Revenue and Customs, as well as the background of a contract killer, and the work of a peace campaigner. And then there's Harvey Gillot, an arms dealer, the figure whose name comes up in each segment and connects them all together.

The set-up is deftly handled if a little drawn-out. There are certainly quite a few threads to interweave, present day and historical, with quite a number of characters, and the author does well from keep them from getting too complicated, but it's at the cost of concision. It takes rather a long time to establish what is in reality a simple situation - a small village in Croatia has put out a contract on Harvey Gillot, an international arms dealer who let them down - no, make that betrayed them - eighteen years ago by failing to deliver an arms consignment that they had paid for and which they needed to defend their village.

Clearly, considering the nature of the characters and the subject matter, The Dealer and The Dead is not light reading. The opening in particular is dark and serious - almost too intense and bleak in its depiction of war crimes, grim discoveries of unmarked mass graves, the contemplation of suicide by survivors - and then there's the activity of a hit-man and an arms dealer who don't really have a lot of time for anything like a conscience.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars End of the Line? Hope not. 31 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This, the latest of Seymour's marvellous creations is a slight disappointment. I feel the Maestro is losing his steam. Meticulously researched as always, realistic characters, nevertheless the scenario lacks something - maybe because it stretches credulity - or maybe it is because I lack the knowledge to convince me that such an unlikely band would assemble as they did, in a ruined Balkan village.
Yet the lead-up to the final denouement, the scenes in England promised much...
This is probably the one Seymour book I would not read again and again. And I do hope he has another books in him.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 20 chapter Seymour classic. 25 July 2010
Gerald Seymour has done it again. Is there another thriller writer that can produce a novel each year that is as consistently good as those written by this author?
His style never changes,a complex cast of well drawn characters that are only given dialogue when absolutely nescessary, a narrative that is rich and detailed,locations that are brought vividly to life and,as always with Seymour,the moral ambiguity of the characters' situation.

Harvey Gillott, arms trader, living a secluded life on the isle of Portland, Dorset, finds that a deal he welched on,to provide arms to a village defending a Serbian onslaught in 1991, catches up with him when his name is revealed after a long buried body is ploughed up on a field near the village.The village doesn't forgive and forget. A contract is placed on Gillott that leads to a London hitman being given the job of tracking and killing Gillott.

This is Seymour's 27th novel and there are one or two echoes of previous stories, notably 'The Heart of Danger' and 'A line in the Sand'.But this does not deflect from the originality of the story. What makes his books work so well is the detail he brings to the many complex situations his characters occupy.
Last year Seymour wrote a novel about the Cammora clans in Naples.Within a year, this 458 page book hits the shelves.
Seymour is the best in the business and has been for some time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption on the Kukuruzni Put 20 Sep 2010
"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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars As real as fiction can be
Exactly what you would expect from Gerald Seymour. It is very easy to imagine such events taking place as each strand of the story seems so real ...... they weave together well.
Published 6 days ago by CA London W8
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Gerald Seymour does detail like no other author. Learn something in every book. And keeps the tension all the way through. Loved it.
Published 2 months ago by S
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
An exciting,complex story line with all the threads being brought together for a thrilling climax in a typical Seymour fashion.
Published 3 months ago by Marian NI
2.0 out of 5 stars david 1947
Very disappointed I found it very boring and had a sense of "it has all been done before" but at a much better pace 2/10 would be my rating
Published 4 months ago by David1947
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read dealing with recent history
I am a great fan of Gerald Seymour, this book was no exception on the quality and enjoyment. The subject matter however felt closer to home and raised many questions about the UK... Read more
Published 5 months ago by stubaines
4.0 out of 5 stars Gerald Seymour is a extremely good writer.
Have read several of Seymour's books all are generally good, but sometimes when he changes setting almost from one sentence to the next it can be annoying but still a good read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by andrew dobson
4.0 out of 5 stars Dealer and the dead
Having been in Croatia during some of the time in this book much rings so true and graphic. So sad still.
Published 7 months ago by gary
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, dull and uninspired
By and large I am a fan of Seymour but not of this one. I really had to push myself to finish the book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nick A
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor ending
everything seems to come together a bit too quickly at the end, almost as though the author had a deadline to hit and rushed things to finish in time.
Published 8 months ago by Andrew Barratt
5.0 out of 5 stars One for an HBO series?
Fantastic. Don't try and think too much about some of the thin skin over parts of the story but just enjoy it. Also provokes lots of cross-referencing on Wikipedia
Published 9 months ago by D. Smith
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