cover image The Dealer and the Dead

The Dealer and the Dead

Gerald Seymour. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $26.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-01878-6

A war crime propels this stellar thriller from Edgar-finalist Seymour (Harry’s Game). One night during the Balkan conflict of the early 1990s, four Croat fighters crouch in a cornfield outside the town of Vukovar in eastern Slavonia as they wait for a shipment of arms that will enable them to fight off their Serb attackers. The arms never come, they are killed, and the town is almost destroyed. In the present, the name of the man who reneged on the arms deal, Harvey Gillot, has become synonymous in the history of the town with all that is evil. Various people have business with the successful, wealthy Gillot, including Robbie Cairns, a young hit man in a London crime family; Det. Sgt. Mark Roscoe with the Serious Crime Directorate; Megs Behan, a researcher for the antigovernment organization Planet Protection; Penny Laing, a member of HM Revenue and Customs Alpha team; and a retired Secret Intelligence Service officer, flamboyant Benjamin Arbuthnot. How Seymour develops these characters and manipulates them until they all end up in Vukovar is a testament to his talent and skill. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Feb.)