Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Praise for Gerald Seymour's THE COLLABORATOR

Gerald Seymour's masterly new novel The Collaborator continues to draw critical acclaim. Library Journal gives a starred review, and the St. Louis Times-Dispatch offers a glowing critique to Seymour's latest thriller.

"Happy-go-lucky Eddie Deacon, a 27-year-old teacher of English to foreigners, meets and falls in love with Immacolata, a young Italian studying accounting in London. When she disappears, having returned to Naples to collaborate with the Carabinieri, Eddie decides to track her down. But she's never told him her last name, and, even if she had, most likely he would not have connected her to the criminal underworld of the Neapolitan Camorra. But as a daughter of the Borelli family, she participated in a host of illegal activities, one of which, the dumping of toxic chemicals, is responsible for the death of her best friend. When Eddie stumbles into the family's hands, his life is on the line. Either Immacolata refuses to testify against them or Eddie dies—and not even a renowned hostage negotiator will suffice to save the lives of all involved. Seymour's (Harry's Game; The Walking Dead) 26th novel builds relentlessly to a fever-pitch conclusion in which a Camorra killer, a hostage rescuer, and a kidnapped victim—characters developed with consummate skill—are all one step from death. Highly recommended for thriller readers. - Library Journal

"British author Gerald Seymour has built a following with his two-dozen-plus crime thrillers. Some critics rank him with John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth as a master of suspense. But with "The Collaborator," Seymour moves beyond suspense. Yes, the plot teems with criminals, and yes, the climax features a face-off between a negotiator and a bad guy who has a pistol and a hostage. But no, "The Collaborator" isn't just another thriller. At its heart, this tale is a novel.

The starring role goes to Immacolata Borelli, who's studying accounting in London. She plans to put her schooling to work back home in Naples, where her family runs mob rackets that include squeezing protection money from neighborhood merchants.

But Immacolata gets a shock when her best friend in Italy dies of leukemia. The disease had its roots in the toxic industrial waste that Immacolota's family trucks in from northern Italy and dumps across the countryside around Naples. So stricken is Immacolata that she flies home, checks in with prosecutors and the police and says she's ready to turn on her family. Back in London, her disappearance dismays her British boyfriend, Eddie Deacon. He flies to Naples to track her down. Trouble is, a stranger who pops up in Naples and asks for directions to a mob family quickly becomes a marked man. The mob family's hit man snatches Deacon and gets a message to authorities: Either you drop Immacolata as an informer, or we kill Deacon.

Unlike so many suspense thrillers, "The Collaborator" follows a plot that's distressingly realistic. This tale has no weapons of mass destruction, no international schemes — just grubby, real-life, low-life crime. Seymour takes readers far deeper into his characters than do most thriller writers. And by the standards of the genre, the book's 500-page length amounts to a thriller and a half." - St. Louis Times-Dispatch

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