Posted 20 hours ago

In At The Kill (Jonas Merrick series)

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It is never an easy read, as Seymour builds the fear and worry you feel for the characters as the climax approaches, but once you are a single chapter into a Seymour novel I would defy anyone to put it down and leave the rest unread. However he again retains his deep engagement and concern with those agents undercover at the front line. Jonas Merrick works in counter surveillance helping to keep the country safe and break any criminal enterprises.

I loved the fact that he seemed so ordinary but was so instrumental to national and international security. Character driven clever descriptive imaginative and intelligent, and totally engaging from first to last page, with the tension building with every turn of the page.

In this novel, however, he has found himself moved from handling potential security threats to dealing with organised crime groups and one Liverpool-based one in particular. This is as always a superbly crafted thriller, yet so real, you can envisage getting stuck behind Merrick's caravan!

Still as querulous and obdurate as ever, he has been assigned to help the fight against OCG (organised crime groups).After thirty odd novels with different protagonists, it's perverse to have such a dull central figure for our first regular character.

Jonas Merrick in his Smiley-esque role is a slow moving puller of strings but the book travels at a fast pace, not least because of the episodic structure of the writing, which means keeping the reader's wits alert as each scene changes.I think I've read all of Gerald Seymour's books but find this and the other Jonas Merrick books tough going. If this was a character trait, then it would be OK, but all of his characters speak the same way which is implausible. But, in this installment, things take a time to get going and then after you, the reader, have all the players understood, it takes a bit more time to get going and then, finally you get to the climax of the story. Gerald Seymour never fails to engross and entertain me with his unique characters, finely crafted plot lines and gift of weaving tension and passion into his tales. The character of Jonas Merrick seems to have developed in a rather unpleasant way that I found irritating to such an extent that it distracted from the storyline rather than added to it.

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