Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Gerald Seymour
Corgi, September 2006
576 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0552153427

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I like thrillers, really I do, but efforts like Gerald Seymour's RAT RUN make me wonder why I bother.

I was looking forward to this one, honest. I've a soft spot for thrillers that have moved into the 21st century and its trouble spots. And the basic premise of a British army intelligence officer, booted out for cowardice in Iraq and who fights to regain his pride by taking on a crime baron on a drugs-infested London housing estate, sounded more than promising. And Seymour was the man behind HARRY'S GAME, which was turned into a good TV drama.

Sadly, though, that's as good as it gets. So, where to start?

The main and over-riding problem is the character of Malachy Kitchen, the lead character. To say that the characterisation is thin is a bit like saying that Lee Child sells a book or two. Malachy is never more than a cipher, a rather dented knight on a white charger who has to take on and attempt to defeat the equally one-dimensional Ricky Capel.

Not that the other characters are up to much, mind. Secret Service agent Polly Wilkins has possibilities, but she's infected as well by the bizarre, rather old-fashioned feel of the book. She's like something out of a 1930s drawing room drama, and you fully expect her to come bounding in after a bracing game of hockey.

Sadly, Seymour writes some of the most leaden dialogue imaginable. Opening the book at random, I can share this little gem with you: "What I like, everybody is involved. Special Forces shadow at sea. Suffolk and Norfolk are at the landfall, creating a sanitized perimeter. The Service, Dennis, are singing off the same hymn sheet as the Branch, Trevor, and will do the clever stuff, the surveillance in co-operation." There's more of the same - and worse!

The plot and the action are pretty illogical - don't even try to work out why certain things happen at the end. If the book focussed on Malachy, things might have been better. But it ping-pongs between too many characters. And it would have benefited from having at least 200 pages hacked off its bloated 576-page frame.

If you want to see what Seymour can do, read HARRY'S GAME. RAT RUN is best forgotten.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, September 2006

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]