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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 23 May 2001
This is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read. As an American, I do not find it easy to relate to the "Troubles" of Northern Ireland. But in Field of Blood Gerald Seymour has presented a very human story of the personal, day-to-day issues of the mind and the heart with which the everyday men and women must struggle. This is an intense, compelling book. It contains no sermons; Seymour does not preach. But he is a master at presenting the human condition and showing how the human heart and mind can transcend those problems.
Seymour uses and interesting device: there are generally two main characters working toward the same end. The focus shifts from one to the other, but they are entwined in the story. In Field of Blood they are Sean Pius "Gingy" McAnally, a Belfast Catholic and PIRA man, and Lt. David Ferris, a British soldier. They are believably human and the reader is compelled to sympathy as they deal with the central plot which has drawn them together. Gingy's wife, Roisin, is another well drawn character, perhaps not so sympathetic. Det. Rennie, introduced in Harry's Game, Seymour's first book, makes another appearance and plays his part well as a sort of "bridge" between the two main characters.
Mr. Seymour uses his characters to develop the story; the intensity of his stories derives from them without reliance on gratuitous violence, although violence is an unavoidable part of the lives and times in his books.
I recommend this book without reservation. I applaud the publisher for reprinting it.
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on 8 September 2017
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 October 2011

Although is is better than this, I encountered him first as beach reading; I never leave books to chance, i.e. finding some on the airport bookshop shelves and always take around five with me and had organised a series for a Greek holiday. I have been hooked ever since and usually have one lined up for every holiday reading. Lying on a far-away beach, it is alluring to find oneself transported to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Kurdish Iraq, Italy, the old U.S.S.R., Lebanon, South Africa and so on.

Although it is not Literature, he does not strive for that; what he writes are detailed, well-researched, page-turners and thought-provoking thrillers and, despite their fictional nature, they do ring true in many ways - the journalist in him coming out between the lines and, without doubt, he has been around as they say.

This novel swings between the high politics and intelligence services in London and Northern Ireland's secret terrorist underclass, painting a detailed picture of the I.R.A. and the Troubles. In this, he gets deeper into the characters of "the Troubles", the people involved in the murder and mayhem. Compelling.

Highly recommended.
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on 9 June 2010
one of the best i've read so far. One always has a choice. But What will man choose? What road he'll choose to walk ? How his decision can affect lives of those who had known him all his life? It's a perfect drama placed in Belfast in 1984 when the hatred between two communities was on its peak and the civil war was everyday reality for many.

I started to read and was unable to put it down. My heart was pounding, my hands were clutching the book. Really worth to read. But not for those who expect it to be heroic and all.
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on 3 February 2013
Gerald Seymour has written many excellent thrillers but this is, in my view, his best. As SamCrow says in a comment on T.Judd's excellent review "A wonderful book", read Seymour's "Harry's Game", "The Journeyman Tailor" and "Field of Blood" for a comprehensive insight into Northern Ireland's troubles. His extensive, "on the ground" experience as a news reporter during the period gives him a rare command of the subject and his ability to write truly gripping stories makes all three books absolutely riveting reads. But, what turns "Field of Blood" into an outstanding work is his equally insightful and wholly believable exploration of the forced relationship between two people trained by their upbringings and circumstances to detest everything about each other and what they stand for. The only unbelievable thing is how such a good novel can be out of print.
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on 5 September 2011
I read several books by Gerald Seymour a good 20 years ago and have only come back to this author recently as I've had more time for reading and have managed to read everything by my favourite authors like Phillip Kerr and CJ Sansom. I started with Archangel which I quite liked but the way it handled its Cold War theme made it feel dated, and much of the story - while exciting - was really too far-fetched. Field of Blood is much better in these respects - even though it was written in 1985 and concerns the Troubles in Belfast at that time, the quality of writing and characterisation is so good that it felt timeless and well worth reading today, and all of the story (except perhaps the very ending) is believable.
The story is about a PIRA supergrass and his police "handlers", and a young army officer who befriends him (in a sort of way) after arresting him. I thought all the main characters were very well drawn, and even relatively minor characters like the IRA man who vows to stop the supergrass giving evidence were convincing. The novel paints a very vivid picture of what day to day life was like on the streets of Belfast during the Troubles, creating an atmosphere so thick you could sometimes cut it with a knife.
So in most respects a very solid and worthwhile thriller, OK as a holiday read but perfect as a winter read in front the fire. The one criticism I have of the book is that the style seemed to me often over-written (or under-edited if you like), especially when describing characters' emotions. Still, putting up with some surplus prose is a small price to pay for what is overall a very rewarding read.
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on 23 July 2011
I thought that this book was absolutely brilliant when I read it a while ago and recommended it to many people. This audio book was for my brother who is partially sighted.
Gerald Seymour, as usual makes the book gripping, tense, and is thoroughly researched as are ALL of his books.
I've not heard from my brother yet as to how he's finding it but knowing him he will think as highly of it as I do.
I think that this book would do well as a television adaptation.
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on 23 March 2014
I recently re-read. Harry's Game and thoroughly enjoyed it , so I thought I would re-read this too. Getting a copy proved more difficult than I thought but good old amazon tracked me one down

I think this is better than Harry's Game, it has an atmospheric feel about it , almost as if you were in Belfast amongst all the troubles. Defiantly one of those can't put down books
A very good build up to the end
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on 24 May 2016
It is a great pity, but I feel duped. This book is not the original publisher's edition but a cheap American edition with all the undesirable attributes so typical of it's genre. It is worthless.
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on 5 April 2014
Great read, a bit different to how the IRA is normally portrayed, the army is shown to be very predictable and easy to target
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