The Mephisto Threat by E V Seymour

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The Mephisto Threat by E V Seymour

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: With a finger on the contemporary pulse Eve Seymour delivers a pacy and page-turning thriller. A recommended holiday read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: August 2009
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 978-0778302957

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Paul Tallis is ex-army and ex-police. He's currently with MI5, but it's not on the conventional, salaried basis. There are some people who need to be deniable if it all goes wrong and who can do things that can't be done officially. In Turkey he looked like just another tourist, sitting outside a street café having a drink with an old friend, when his companion was gunned down. It's obvious to Tallis that at least one of the killers is British, but the Turkish police are more interested in Tallis himself and before long he finds himself sampling their hospitality in a prison cell, along with a family of rats.

Tallis' job is to keep his ear to the ground to catch any whispers of terrorist activity and links with organised crime in the UK. Under cover he befriends Johnny Kennedy, a former crime boss and ex-convict, but has Kennedy really reformed or is he involved in the planning of a major terrorist attack? Who can Tallis trust and are his MI5 bosses all that they seem to be?

The Mephisto Threat is scary – not so much because of what happens but because it's all too easy to think that it just might be true. Eve Seymour has her finger on the pulse of contemporary issues and the politics behind them and there's an edgy, gritty tone to her writing which fits the subject matter perfectly. It's very much in the here and now and you have the feeling that it will all be in the newspaper tomorrow. From a personal point of view I'm not entirely certain that this is a good thing – swine flu would currently seem to be a greater threat to the people and the economy of the UK than terrorism or organised crime, but I'll confess that this is something of a hobby horse of mine and many people may well feel differently.

As in The Last Exile there is violence but it's not gratuitously over-played, concentrating more on the emotional rather than the physical consequences. This does mean that the book will appeal not just to the lover of the thriller genre but also to those who appreciate a more thoughtful approach.

The characters are strong and come off the page, but dialogue does seem stilted on occasions. That is though a minor quibble about a book that would make an excellent holiday read.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this type of book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Gauntlet by Richard Aaron.

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