A Deniable Dearth..

AUTHOR: Gerald Seymour

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REVIEW:

This very tightly written novel opens with a very respectful description of a typical sad funeral procession through Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. Reference is also made to the hundreds of service personnel returning from armed combat in Afghanistan and also Iraq, who have unfortunately lost limbs as the result of road-side bombs. MI6 have identified an engineer employed in Iran who spends all of his time designing and manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which have caused up to 66% of all coalition forces casualties since 2001 to the present day. MI6 detail one of their most senior personnel to take charge of organising a plot to kill the person concerned. Len Gibbons, the MI6 nominee, arranges to contact self-employed contractors as their status can be denied by the SIS should the contractor be captured.

This highly detailed plot is softened by the humanity of the author’s understanding, that regardless of the occupation of the subject there is always a banal background to every person. No matter how humble or exalted they may be. A lot of the focus of the book is spent on the two ‘Watchers’, Badger and Foxy, deep undercover in Iran living for many days in a dugout in very unpleasant weather conditions of extreme heat. Their target is under microphone and binocular night sight surveillance 24 hours a day. As they have come such a long distance overland to their vantage point all their food and water rations are contained in two ruck sacks. They cannot leave any indication that they were ever there, so everything that they eat or drink and all their toilet deposits have to be removed. So we get to hear of one character’s marital difficulties and the other’s interest in wildlife and general loneliness.

On the advance reading copy I used, there is a statement, “You watch, You wait, The hours slide slowly past. You’ve been there a whole day, then two, you lie under a merciless sun, in a mosquito-infested marsh. You can’t move, leave or relax. You’re stuck next to a man you despise. If they find you, you will be left to face torture and death“. The picture this paints so vividly, is of a job that must be done by our armed forces that is very hard and you just have to admire their fortitude and bravery in such adverse conditions.

This multi-faceted story keeps switching from the back-story of the watchers, to their support network in Afghanistan, to MI6 in London and also the American and kindred security connections. We also hear about the back story of the MI6 organiser locally and why his own life has not been so successful. The target, ie the Iranian Engineer who builds the IEDs we learn has a very sick wife who is suffering from a brain tumour that will need an operation soon to remove it or she may die. The date and location of the hospital that the wife of the engineer is going to go to is so crucial and is what the watchers hope to identify. The novel is very powerful and kept me gripped until the final page.

This novel is completely different to all the others that I have read by this very experienced author as they all are written with different themes and characters, which is one of the factors that makes him such an exciting writer. He is also from a journalistic background (fifteen years as an international reporter with ITN) and meticulously researches the background to all his books and it is very reassuring, reading facts and background details in his stories and knowing that they must be authentic because he has such a good reputation. Gerald Seymour has been a full-time writer since 1978. A DENIABLE DEATH is his twenty-eighth novel. This was great storytelling and I hope he writes many more and I hope I get the chance to read them. You just have to read this novel as it is absolutely gripping.

This review was done by 

Terry Halligan

The Pleasure of Reading..

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Some people get pleasure from picnics and tours, some from playing games. Others like to discuss various topics and find pleasure in it. But the reading of books provides us with such pleasure as we do not get from any other activity. Great is the pleasure of books.

Literature is said to mirror society. Writers put in their books not only their own ideas and feelings, but also what they observe and find in society. The books of the past reflect the condition of the times in which they were written. By reading books written by great thinkers, we come in contact with their minds. Books enable us to know the best of different countries. So, if we want to keep abreast of the great minds of all ages, we must read books.

When we are alone, books are our best friends. They entertain us in our spare moments. Good novels, books on poetry and short stories, give great enjoyment. At times we become so absorbed in our books that we forget even our important engagements. Loneliness is no trouble for a reader.

If we are in a cheerful mood, our joy is increased by reading. When we are in a depressed and dejected mood, books console and soothe our troubled minds. They provide us with the best advice and guidance in our difficulties. Indeed, books are out best friends as they help us in our need.

Books contain grains of wisdom. They give us sound moral advice. That is why all women around the world love the Fifty Shades of Grey..Where a powerful, sex magnet, bombshell of a man meets and utterly loves and completes his woman( leaving us the readers fanning ourselves from the pure pleasure of him) It is through the reading of books that we learn to love virtue and hate sin. The reading of good books develops and elevates our character.

Now-a-days the world is changing fast. A man cannot remain in roach with the changes in his own country, or in the world, without reading the latest literature. One who wants to be respected in cultured society must keep himself well-informed. Good magazines, newspapers and other books provide us with valuable upto-date information. It gives us great pleasure to feel that our knowledge is upto-date. We get great satisfaction when we feel ourselves to be well-informed and capable of moving in any educated society. Reading of good books is the key to the store-house of pleasure.

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It was the English author Bacon who said that reading makes a full man. No one can question the truth of this saying. But we cannot derive full advantage from reading, if our choice is not good. Some books are such that instead of doing any good, they do positive harm to the readers. Such books must be avoided. Cheap books, not in cost but in contents, should not be read, even if they provide some amusement and entertainment. It is the reading of good books alone which bestows upon us the maximum benefit.

Not only is reading utterly delicious, a study has just been published finding that reading for pleasure makes your brain literally grow.

So what are you waiting for?!?! get to the nearest book store and get to reading! 😀

Where Are The Children..

AUTHOR: Mary Higgins Clark

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SYNOPSIS:
“Nancy Harmon was a housewife who took her two children, a boy and a girl, to the store to get some things and deciding she would only be in the store a minute, just left them in the car. When she came out of the store, her car was gone and so were the children. They were found days later in the water with plastic around their heads. Nancy was accused of murdering her two children and was eventually acquitted because the main witness came up missing. Nancy moved across the country trying to escape the reporters and prying eyes of the public, and she wanted to start a new life. A new life without her children. She plead her innocence but no one believed her so she just started over.

Nancy had started to get on with her life. She remarried, had two more children and the pain of losing her children was starting to go away when the horror was starting over again. Her children were outside playing one morning and when she went to check on them they were gone. Again. This time she was determined to find who was behind this but that was harder than she thought because everyone believed that she was guilty again. Nancy tries to unravel the secrets and has to face the horrors of her past to find the answers to whose behind this once and for all.”

REVIEW:
When i got this book off the shelf i was a little bit skeptical because i have never read a Mary Higgins book. It did not seem like it would interest me so much, but from the first page i was already captivated by the story. The author does not waste any time and we get straight to it from the very beginning, the characters are complex and have so many things going on with them, especially the main character, Nancy. She seems docile at first, the perfect house wive if you may, albeit with a lot of secrets she has not told her husband or the people around her. The story comes from the point of view of many of the characters, not just the main character and that is something i enjoyed greatly, but i have to say when i was 3 quarters into the book i new who the culprit was already. How ever that still did not make the book boring as it still brought on surprising twists and turns i was not expecting.
Needless to say i finished this book in one day and it was worth it. So get yourself a copy and get to reading it because with will be entranced from the start.