A page-turning thriller of life and death in the moral maze of the post-9/11 world from the international bestselling author and "best spy novelist ever" (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The rules are simple. Break up your shape. Hide your smell. Never show your silhouette. Check the surfaces of your kit. Space the movements of your team. Use the shadows. Danny "Badger" Baxter has a talent for surveillance. He's always followed the rules. Until now, they've kept him alive.
But now Badger has a bigger job than photographing dissident Northern Irish Republicans in muddy Ulster fields, or Islamic extremists on rainswept Yorkshire moors. MI6 have a plan to assassinate the Engineer—a brilliant maker of Improvised Explosive Devices, the roadside bombs which account for 80% of Allied casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. The spooks know he's planning to leave his home in Iran. They just need to find out when and where he's traveling.
So Badger finds himself on the wrong side of the Iranian border, burdened with a partner he loathes, lying under a merciless sun in a mosquito-infested marsh, observing the house. If things go wrong, as far as Her Majesty's Government is concerned, his part in the plot is completely deniable. With A Deniable Death, Gerald Seymour expertly explores the moral compromises of the secret world upon which we rely for our everyday security - and the amazing reserves of courage which ordinary people can find in extraordinary circumstances.
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2013
Veteran thriller writer Seymour's outstanding 26th novel chronicles a British "interdiction" mission in contemporary Iraq and Iran. MI6 agent Len Gibbons assembles a team charged with the "deniable" assassination of "the Engineer," an Iranian bomb maker whose handiwork ("improvised explosive devices" and "explosive force devices") is killing U.S. and British soldiers on the Iraqi border. That team includes covert operatives Joe "Foxy" Foulkes and Danny "Badger" Baxter, who undergo an excruciating ordeal in a covert hideout near the Engineer's home. Seymour (Harry's Game) is strong on the details of surveillance and spycraft, but on even surer ground with his characters as he focuses on Gibbons's stoic dedication, Badger's ruthless single-mindedness, and Foxy's prideful professionalism. Even the Engineer comes across as a human being, thanks to a complex subplot about getting his wife to the West for cancer treatment. Once the narrative gains momentum, it's hard to put this one down.