cover image A Deniable Death

A Deniable Death

Gerald Seymour. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-01880-9

Veteran thriller writer Seymour’s outstanding 26th novel chronicles a British “interdiction” mission in contemporary Iraq and Iran. MI6 agent Len Gibbons assembles a team charged with the “deniable” assassination of “the Engineer,” an Iranian bomb maker whose handiwork (“improvised explosive devices” and “explosive force devices”) is killing U.S. and British soldiers on the Iraqi border. That team includes covert operatives Joe “Foxy” Foulkes and Danny “Badger” Baxter, who undergo an excruciating ordeal in a covert hideout near the Engineer’s home. Seymour (Harry’s Game) is strong on the details of surveillance and spycraft, but on even surer ground with his characters as he focuses on Gibbons’s stoic dedication, Badger’s ruthless single-mindedness, and Foxy’s prideful professionalism. Even the Engineer comes across as a human being, thanks to a complex subplot about getting his wife to the West for cancer treatment. Once the narrative gains momentum, it’s hard to put this one down. Agent: Jason Bartholomew, Hodder & Stoughton. (Feb.)