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The Outsiders [Kindle Edition]

Gerald Seymour
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Winnie Monks has never forgotten - or forgiven - the death of a young agent on her team at the hands of a former Russian Army Major turned gangster. Now, years later, she hears the Major is travelling to a villa on the Costa del Sol and she asks permission to send in a surveillance unit.

They find an empty property near the Major's. The Villa Paraiso. It's perfect to spy from - and as a base for Winnie's darker, less official, plans.

But it turns out that the property isn't deserted. The owners have invited a young British couple to 'house sit' while they are away.

For Jonno and Posie, just embarking on a relationship, this is supposed to be a carefree break in the sun. But when the Secret Service team arrives in paradise, everything changes.


Product Description

Review

Those [Seymour] sends off into dangerous territory are, in fact, his readers. With each book, we enter a dangerous universe, and are totally involved with utterly plausible characters, faced with moral choices that are rarely straightforward . . . The single most important element here is the obsessive Winnie, whose pursuit of revenge for her dead agent is the motor for all that happens. Winnie is a forceful creation, with her burning resentment against those who feel contempt for the way the rest of us live. (Independent)

Once again demonstrating his ability to probe the moral murkiness of the spy trade and create an absorbingly diverse ensemble, Seymour crafts a sophisticated, reader-teasing tale. (The Sunday Times)

[Seymour's] books are rich in the drama of people reacting to events and situations they never could have expected. (Weekend Press, New Zealand)

Picking up a novel by Gerald Seymour is like taking a deep breath of fresh air . . . his subject here is the Middle East, presented with a vividness and veracity that makes most of his rivals look footling . . . As always with Seymour, the sense of a minatory foreign landscape is acutely rendered . . . never have the badlands of Iraq been evoked with such oppressive rigour. And how many other writers would have fleshed out the bomb-maker, who would simply represent "evil" in most thrillers? Seymour allows us into the life and consciousness of this man, movingly describing his marriage to a mortally ill woman. When readers get to the nailbiting climax, involving an agonising wait for airborne rescue, they may be wondering why they should bother with any other thriller writer. (Independent)

Seymour is a master of the thriller set on the murky edges of modern war . . . As ever he juggles action, context and suspense with a special-forces level of expertise. How long before he turns to Libya? (i)

Gerald Seymour is the grand-master of the contemporary thriller and Deniable Death is his greatest work yet. Gripping, revealing and meticulously researched, this is a page-turning masterpiece that will literally leave you breathless. (Major Chris Hunter, author of Extreme Risk)

After 28 novels, Seymour's empathy for those he ensnares in his moral minefields remains movingly even-handed. (Daily Telegraph)

gripping thriller (Sun)

Mr Seymour is . . . on form . . . The tradecraft of silent watching and the discomfort, thirst and increasing claustrophobia of the hideout are brought very much to life . . . the grim landscape of the border region and the harsh lives of its inhabitants are skilfully evoked (The Economist (Australia))

Seymour is not one to cut corners. He does his research, thinks hard about his story and gives us richly imagined novels that bristle with authenticity. (Washington Post on THE COLLABORATOR)

Seymour [is] incapable of creating a two-dimensional character' (The Times)

'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 told, but you also feel you are learning something. (Birmingham Press)

In a class of his own (The Times on THE WAITING TIME)

one of the modern masters of the craft (Daily Mail on THE COLLABORATOR)

Book Description

The new book from the acknowledged master of the modern British thriller.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 973 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444705881
  • Publisher: Hodder (5 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444705881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444705881
  • ASIN: B008258ZKW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sophisticated, subtle and satisfying thriller 11 Oct. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well written contemporary thriller which achieves that rare distinction of combining a tense and eventful narrative with engaging and largely credible characters. I think it deserves to become a classic, but I think few will disagree at the very least it's an excellent read.

The story concerns how Winnie Monks - a middle-ranking M15 officer - plots to take revenge on the Russian ex-soldier turned fixer and criminal, who some years previously had brutally killed an M15 field agent. The agent had not only been on Winnie's team but had been lodging with her, so it's all very personal. The Russian travels in secret, his communications protected by a young computer geek, but when the geek is wrongly accused of theft by his boss, he responds by revealing the Russian's plans to hold an important business meeting in a villa near Marbella.

Much of the novel follows how Winnie arranges to have the villa put under surveillance and what happens when the surveillance team unintentionally meet up with a young English couple who have been asked to caretake what Winnie had thought would be an empty house next to the villa in question. The couple become central to the story. At the same time we follow the Russian as he makes his way to Spain via West Africa and Morocco, and get to understand his back-story and that of his accomplices / bodyguards.

The Spanish background is right up-to-date, with the property boom at an end, the British ex-pat community struggling to survive, and corruption endemic. The picture Seymour paints of the extensive high- and low-level criminality is frightening, and whether true or not, it forms a horribly credible backdrop to the story.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance is sweet... 9 Jun. 2012
By Big Bertha TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
MI5 agent Winnie Monks is big on loyalty and as leader of 'The Graveyard Team' she vowed to avenge the death of youngest member Damien Fenby, brutally murdered in Budapest. Years later a embittered young Russian walks into the British Embassy in Baku and puts a name to her target. She gathers together the former members of her team and using her contacts heads up an operation to make that goal a reality.

Jonno and girlfriend Posie are offered the opportunity to house-sit a property on the outskirts of Marbella and jump at the chance of a couple of weeks in the sun at Villa Paraiso. Their dreams of an idyllic break don't last long however, the property is run down, the location not what they thought and unexpected guests turn up to carry out an MI5 undercover surveillance operation on the property next door.

With a tightly knit and cleverly executed plot this thriller took me into the heart of the Costa del Crime. The cast of characters was confusing at first but the strength of this novel was in the detail. The location was superbly described and the expat community of Marbella and their disillusionment with the Spanish dream, the influx of Eastern Europeans and criminals who had made this area their home was well depicted.

A good read, an intelligent plot with the tension building to a satisfying conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never really gripped me 4 Dec. 2012
By Marand TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This story is set in the murky world of MI5/MI6 and a covert assignment to capture a Russian criminal overlord as he visits another semi-retired big man from the Russian mafia in Spain. The MI5 team lead by "maverick" section chief Winnie Monks are looking to avenge the death several years earlier of a young operative at the hands of the overlord and his henchmen.

A surveillance operation is planned using a small house overlooking the semi-retired Russian's property, but the unexpected intrusion of a young British couple (Jonno and Posie) who have agreed to look after this house for its absent owners raises complications. Tensions arise as the couple find they have unexpected house guests and Jonno becomes surprisingly (for him) aggressive to the surveillance team and the risk he thinks they create for the old couple who own the home.

Ultimately, the story focuses on the effect on Jonno and Posie of the events they go through (including witnessing some very graphically described executions by the semi-retired Russian's goons) but this is where the weaknesses creep in. Jonno in particular is a priggish character who is difficult to like, and his extended agonising over issues just seems to drag over pages and pages. Some of the stronger characters such as Monks, who is built up hugely in the first half of the book (with repeated statements that her team would do anything for her), just fade out of the picture later on.

The author seems determined to convince you of the accuracy and depth of his research, and the descriptions of life in the security services sound quite authentic, but he goes over the top.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Costa Living - and Dying 31 May 2012
By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anyone who likes a surprise or two might be advised to avoid Michael Watson's review here; not so much an indication of the book's setting and broad general theme, more like a precis of the plot. So I must be careful to restrict myself to saying that the Outsiders are former or current Intelligence personnel who carry out a semi-freelance operation to avenge the murder of a colleague. It is not giving too much away to reveal that there is Russian mafia-style involvement. Previous Seymour readers will expect to find various exotic locations together with presumably authentic acronyms for police and intelligence bodies, and assuredly reliable details of firearms; they will not be disappointed.

The main locale is Malaga. The author's journalistic instincts rarely let him down and here he is bang up to date at the scene of the building scandals that currently threaten the Spanish economy. The ratchetting of tension works, too. Gerald Seymour fans should buy with confidence.

Yet for the uncommitted there have to be caveats. Winnie Monk, a central figure, is not easily credible, not helped by having only two character props - smoking cigarillos and using the f-word - which crop up with almost her every appearance. Stylistically, I am not alone in finding the jumpy chronology at times confusing. The mannerism of beginning a new section with a pronoun that leaves the reader guessing for a paragraph or two is simply irritating. And there is the over-emphasis on Seymour's theme that organised crime is a bigger threat than terrorism: after the second appearance by 'the Latvian policeman' his contributions can be skipped with no effect whatsoever on the narrative.
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