cover image The Collaborator

The Collaborator

Gerald Seymour, Overlook, $25.95 (480p) ISBN 978-1-59020-446-7

An underdeveloped romance undermines the hard-edged realism of this contemporary thriller from British author Seymour (Timebomb). When 25-year-old Immacolata Borelli rushes to Naples from London on learning that her closest friend, Marianna Rossetti, has died from leukemia, she receives a hostile reception from her late friend's parents, who link their daughter's fatal illness to the dumping of toxic waste carried out for years by Borelli's gangster relatives, one of the leading families of the Camorra. With the human toll of her family's crimes finally hitting home, Borelli decides to cooperate with the Italian authorities and provide them with everything they need to secure convictions. Then Eddie Deacon, a language teacher with whom Borelli had a brief fling in London, follows her to Naples, where the Camorra take him hostage. After the gangsters threaten to mutilate and murder Deacon if Borelli doesn't abandon her intention to inform on them, the story devolves into a run-of-the-mill suspense plot hinging on whether Deacon will be rescued in time. (Feb.)