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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
19
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 2 March 2017
Yet another masterpiece from Gerald Seymour.
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on 9 May 2003
I love Gerald's books. This one has a good story line - but is particularly slow in getting going. Masterful writing and research - but less pacy than others.
David
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on 7 November 2004
Even for a confirmed fan of Gerald Seymour this book stands out as one of his best ever written. Superb story and tension build up and you find yourself reading at a gallop as the book ends.
In many ways it is typical Seymour fare, the book littered with terse and unlikely dialogue. Moody and unsociable characters, depressed people and depressing scenario descriptions but for all that, this book has the feeling of an old lost friend as Seymour delights in taking the reader on a journey into the Cold War spy game of yesteryear. The references to the espionage icons of the 70's and 80's are fantastically done and almost make the reader yearn for these dark times. The nods towards events in previous Seymour books is also a very nice touch.
The only criticism I can levy, which is rather unfair as when you read a Seymour book you don't expect joyous endings and "happily ever afters", is that when you do complete the book you do feel almost as low and depressed as Seymour's main characters. Would it be too much to ask for one smile at the end?
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really don't know how Gerald Seymour manages to write so many superb thrillers and spy novels. I have been a fan since the legendary Harry's Game, and never fail to be disappointed by his latest offerings. Traitor's Kiss is as good as any, and would be an excellent introduction to his work. This is a Cold War novel but set in the present day - a long standing Russian agent needs to be taken out of the well-fortified Kaliningrad naval base and a team of retired SAS men are sent in to do the job, because nobody else understands the old ways of the service.
There are many twists and turns in this book but the reader races through the over 500 pages, such is the pace of the novel. I have no idea where Seymour gets his background information from but the level of detail about the workings of the service is fascinating. I would give this five stars and can only say to anyone who is a little snobbish about this genre, Seymour is a quality writer, a master of pace and sheer verve.
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on 24 December 2011
It must be my perennial lot to come upon books some time after they have been published. This is no exception but it is still currently on sale so perhaps there is value in giving an opinion now that the dust has settled.
Credit where it's due, this book is well written in a technical sense. Throughout the whole of the book I found only one minor typographical error. There may have been others but if so I missed them. However Mr. Seymour would (either intentionally or unintentionally) misuse the word 'basha' preferring the more comic 'basher'. This may be the way soldiers pronounce it but it is not the way it is generally spelt. He also seemed somewhat confused as to what a basha is. It is a Malay word for shelter and in British military argot is usually a groundsheet or poncho hooked between two trees with bungees and easily camouflaged. In this book I feel Seymour has confused it with a LUP, or lying-up position. Easily done if you have no military background to call your own.
The story itself is an update on the Cold War with the modern equivalent of the KGB, the FSB, coming in for a sound drubbing from Seymour's pen (as does the 'modern' Secret Intelligence Service). It seeems the Russians are still at their old Soviet tricks of mistreating and murdering anyone thought of as a traitor to the Motherland. The book is full of historical references; Seymour goes as far as putting anecdotes about Kaliningrad on the Polish/Russian border as a header to each chapter. It is this fiendish attention to detail which tends to derail the enjoyment of what otherwise would have been a page turner. Sadly never once whilst reading did I ache to continue, giving up at the end of each chapter with no hurry to pick up where I left off. Seymour is adept at putting the reader inside his protagonist's heads but sometimes it's not a good place to be as thought patterns tend to meander in loose connections and slow contemplations like a river decaying into oxbows as it reaches flat coastal plains.
This won't put me off Seymour. I shall try some of his contemporary works before making a definitive judgement on his style of writing. From reading previous novels, which I've enjoyed, he has always had a tendency to over-complicate but in this book it has reached a peak of indulgence. Not one of his better works.
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on 23 January 2010
I have read most of Seymour's books and this is the hardest to get into. Once however, you get past the first 150 pages, the novel really does get going and it becomes worth it. Seymour spends alot of time introducing the four freelance drop-outs who are enrolled on a desperate mission to rescue 'Ferret' a Russian who was a spy for Britain during the cold war. Seymour clearly paints a vivid contrast from the old intelligence officers and the new school as they politically debate the values of a rescue. The Russian interogation expert and the machine gunner add to great characters in this strong broth of a plot in Kaliningrad. The action becomes intense as we sit with Ferret in a dark and cold interogation room, and then cover our heads for a finale on the beach.
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on 28 September 2015
This was an excellent read, the start was a little slow, but it did not detract from the overall reading experience. Gerald Seymour writes with a great deal of authority and knowledge. The characterisations are strong and believable. It is a long novel, over 400 pages, but to my way of thinking there is not much surplus writing and detail. I think some of the criticisms from other reviewers' is unfair. It is a true story of what life might have been like in the Cold War, but set in the 21st century, with old methods versus the modern age of technology, and spying.
This is the first book I have read by Gerald Seymour, but it will certainly not be the last. It certainly deserves a 5* rating for its intrigue, and thoughtful and satisfactory conclusion.
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on 2 February 2007
This is the first time i've read Gerald Seymour.This is truly a great book,i'd love to see this made into a film.10/10.
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on 5 April 2014
Great story, different ending, not quite what I expected. It keeps you wanting to read on. Gerald Seymour at his best
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on 8 July 2015
Delivered as forecast. Seymour's research means that this is an interesting and good read.
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