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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 September 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Gerald Seymour is a well established author and this is not the first of his novels I have read. The plot seems promising enough. A defector from Iran insists that his wife is brought out if he is going to continue to cooperate with the British authorities. A motley collection of mercenaries together with a young student who has studied Iran and who speaks Farsi, set about accomplishing this and, unsurprisingly, things run far from smoothly or predictably.

The main story here is quite interesting. We learn about the young student who, rather ill advisedly, jumps at the chance of adventure whilst having a naive ignorance of the dangers involved. The defector's wife, Faradeh, is also a fascinating character who, apparently, cannot stand her husband and has had nothing to do with him for years whilst living under the same roof. Rather unconventional behaviour in Iran I would imagine and a little surprising that he wants anything further to do with her.

If one was to read the parts of this story which appertained to the basic plot it would be an absorbing and fast moving adventure in the main. Unfortunately this would only run to a couple of hundred pages. The rest, interspersed throughout the book, concerns, in the main, the cynical machinations of the various members of the intelligence community who have such unlikely nicknames as Aunty (male) and Father William. Every time the main story seems to really get into gear we have these interruptions which are, frankly, not very interesting and just ruin the flow of the plot.

Worst of all, having shown themselves to be uncaring, manipulative and unprincipled, the ending of the story depends on these people acting completely out of character in an action which they take. I was fast losing patience in any case, but this really put the seal on things for me. Gerald Seymour is a capable author who can narrate a good story. This is not one of them in my opinion.
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on 2 October 2013
I've been reading his books since Harry's Game. But trying to read this was perplexing. I read it on my Kindle Fire which may well have contributed to my lack of enjoyment. Seymour' s tale has so many strands and many of them are run together in a chapter. Possibly the print version has a means of separating the threads that do not appear on the Kindle version. So, you are reading a passage in which a male is taking action then the chapter continues and it is only halfway through the next passage that the reader realises the story thread has altered. Very frustrating and adds to the tedium of Seymour' s writing style.
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on 26 August 2013
We have read quite a few of Gerald Seymour books, we just love his writing ,have told loads of people about them. This book was gripping from beginning to end, and the bonus was getting it on my kindle , a wonderful wonderful read.
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on 5 June 2017
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on 18 June 2017
just started it
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on 14 June 2017
Very hard to get into the story.
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on 31 May 2017
Very good
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with most of Gerald Seymour's novels you will get a meticulously researched environment, a number of seemingly random threads, all of which graually entwine, leaving he reader saddened that finally they have reached the end of the book.

This novel is no exception.

Ostensibly, it is a story featuring the wife of a Iranian corporal who is lifted by the Brits from a honey trap and, once safely in Vienna, will only reveal more of his useful information if his wife can join him.

Which is where the story begins to unfold. The wife is not keen to join her husband but thanks to a young English language student pressganged into going to Tehran as an interpreter, she reluctantly agrees to go with the team sent to extract her.

It doesn't go to plan. MI6 plays its usual power struggle games, the Americans and the Israelis help out with the extraction at a cost and an Iranian brigadier (he whose driver is now in Vienna) goes on an individual hunt for the now missing corporal's wife, hoping to be ahead of the Reupulican Guards similarly tasked with finding her and the 'terrorists' who have taken her.

At the centre is really the bonding betwen the young interpreter and the wife and the lack of bonding between the pair and the three ex-soldiers travelling with them.

To reveal more would put the suspense of the story in doubt. The author brillianly captures the Iranian countryside, the characters popping in and out of the abduction and the do-or-die attitude of the soldiers on both sides, whilst the bickering goes on in London as to who takes responsibility for the diminishing returns from the corporal.

The Corporal's Wife brings home the strictures in Tehran thanks to the sanctions imposed and the gloom and doom of a country struggling to find an acceptable way into the modern world.

All-in-all, an excellent read.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read every one of Gerald Seymour's novels and eagerly await every one as soon as I hear about it. The Corporal's Wife was no disappointment and gave me my yearly fix of insightful thrills about ex-special services soldiers, cynical intelligence agents and heroic renegades who do the government's dirty work knowing there will be no reward or recognition for their bravery.

Seymour puts his people into the most dire situations - this time a group of free-lance security agents are sent into Iran to rescue the wife of an Iranian corporal who finds himself in the hands of British agents but will only tell his secrets if his wife is brought out with him. The task of going into the centre of Tehran in an old builders van and then running for the border seems to be nigh on impossible, particularly as the Iranian secret service soon get wind of them.

With Seymour, it's not just the story which grips the reader, but also the wonderful characters he creates: people who no longer fit in the ranks of officaldom, renegades and rejects to a man, but with the great dollops of bravery and recklessness which got them evicted from the mainstream run-of-the-mill rankings in the first place.

The story is full of local colour and you feel you are with the group as they flee along the roads of rural Iran heading for the mountains which they will have to cross to get to the border. The build of tension is handled magnificently and as always with Seymour, he mixes successes with failures to provide a far more realistic outcome than would be the case with other thriller writers.

The Corporal's Wife follows in a long series of equally fine political/espionage thrillers from Gerald Seymour and his many fans will not be disappointed with this latest book.
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on 11 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Many authors have a particular style, and if you like that style, then you will enjoy the other books by the author. This is the third book I have read by Gerald Seymour and am afraid it will be the last.

Seymour's style is to take a relatively basic storyline and intertwine the social interaction between the characters and get a feel for their personalities. This worked well in Holding the Zero (two snipers), but I found it lacking in The Outsiders. For me, this book takes that even further with weak, unbelievable characters and not enough to keep the reader interested despite the potential for a really good story.

The story is all about a defector from Iran (having been caught in a brothel) who is a potential superstar in terms of the secrets he can reveal. Once the debrief is underway, he refuses to reveal any more until his wife is extracted from Iran (despite the fact that she no longer cares from him at all). With such a ludicrous storyline no self-respecting armed forces would want to be involved, so private contractors and a student drop-out are brought in to do the job.

The problem here is that I was enjoying the main storyline rather than the sub-plot which is all about how the foot soldiers will have one perspective on the world, the interrogators another, the handlers another, and the decision makers back at base something altogether different. That part of the book is actually rather boring in my opinion, with characters who are easy to mix up with their odd nicknames, and just doesn't make enough of a storyline.

I only gave it two stars as I kept hoping there would be something more... the storyline had the potential to be a Frederick Forsyth masterpiece - sadly it wasn't.
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