An al-Qaeda mastermind slithers across Europe while a soldier rebuilds a ruined life in the London slums in the latest intricate thriller from Seymour (Traitor’s Kiss, 2006), modern master of the genre.
Malachy Kitchen has hit rock-bottom. Drummed from Her Majesty’s army for apparent cowardice in Iraq, and abandoned by his wife, the former intelligence officer is homeless and aimless when he is scooped up by a social worker and dropped into one of the toughest housing projects in London with orders to get a life. His climb begins with a near tragedy. The old lady next door, a woman who has shown him a little kindness, is mugged and hospitalized, and her nephew, a tough cop, uses emotional blackmail to force Kitchen to do what the police cannot do, i.e., neutralize the thugs who victimized his aunt. And Kitchen does just that. Those thugs, worker bees in the local drug economy, are soon found hanging humiliatingly alive from the roof of the council tower. The cop then forces Kitchen to take out the goon who controlled the criminals. Then the job takes hold of Kitchen. He moves on voluntarily to the next level of revenge, and the next, until he is matched against Ricky Capel, the local capo whose drugs come through a connection with the Albanian mafia in Germany. It is that connection that will eventually put Kitchen on track to intercept a special package Ricky has been ordered to pick up from the storm-wracked coast of the Friesian islands. That package is a spectacularly lethal terrorist of great interest to a pair of British spies trying to recover their own careers.
Complex, human, tense, engaged and—in all ways—wonderful. Nobody can touch Gerald Seymour.