The more elderly among us will remember Gerald Seymour as a principal ITN news reporter in the early seventies. Astonishingly, this is his thirty ninth novel – even now I can well remember reading his debut, Harry’s Game, as a teenager.
As Seymour has grown older, his novels seem to have grown more and more dour and gritty, and this one is no exception. In keeping with his usual style, this is a slow burner, with lots of detail on the personalities and motivations of the principal characters, geographical locations, and political background. For this work, Seymour has chosen cyber warfare, and the ever present threat presented by state sponsored hacking, as his theme. An opportunity presents itself to disrupt a gathering of hackers taking place in Russia – a motley crew, some of unreliable loyalty, is hastily put together to smuggle into the meeting a bomb concealed in a laptop, and then to get back across the border to safety. The closing section is right up there with anything the author has written in the last few years in terms of excitement and tension, as the various strands of the tale are skilfully manipulated and brought together at the novel’s conclusion.
A very enjoyable read overall – a slowish start, but the pace inexorably builds as the story progresses. Seymour has still got it!
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Action/adventure thrillers, but with a more cerebral angle.
One thing you’ve learned
The title is a quote attributed to the Duke of Wellington, with whom the principal character is obsessed, after his victory at Waterloo.