A young man starts a journey from a dusty village in Saudi Arabia. He believes it will end with his death in faraway England. For honour, for glory, for victory. If his mission succeeds, he will go to his god a martyr and many innocents will die with him.
For David Banks, an armed protection officer charged with neutralising the growing menace to Londons safety, his role is not as clear-cut as it once was. The certainties which ruled his thinking are no longer black and white. Banks has begun to realise that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. Never have those distinctions been more dangerous to a police officer with his finger on the trigger and to those who depend upon him.
On a bright spring morning the two mens paths will cross. Before then, their commitment will be shaken by the journeys which take them there. The suicide bomber and the policeman will have equal cause to question the roads theyve chosen. Win or lose, neither will be the same again . . .
The Walking Dead is a breathtakingly suspenseful thriller about the world in which we live, with all its dangers and complexities. With intelligence and deep understanding, Seymour shows us the choices we are forced to make, and their consequences. It is one of the most excitingly contemporary and relevant novels you will ever read.
Chapter 1: Thursday, Day 1
It was as if he had been brought to a camel market. All of his life since he had gained the first clouded images of memory, he had stood and watched such markets. And now they were thirteen hundred kilometers behind him, separated from him by the wilderness of the Kingdoms deserts and by the knife-edged crests of the Asir mountains. There, between the mountains and the shining sea, was the village that was his home.
The beasts of burden camels, hobbled at the ankle, and mules lined up, standing listlessly, tethered to a rope running between two posts were well respected by the traveling Bedouin and the itinerant merchants who came to buy. In the extremities of the deserts temperatures, brutal heat by day and chill air at night, or on the passes through the mountains that led to the Yemen border, a tribesman or trader would suffer death by dehydration or exposure if he had bought unwisely at the market. It was the skill of those ...
In the hands of a lesser writer, The Walking Dead could have become a run-of-the-mill pot-boiler. What makes this novel noteworthy is Seymour's attention to the book's underlying themes. He delves into the question of how young men get into situations where they willingly risk their lives for their ideals, drawing parallels between the suicide bomber and a young volunteer fighting in the Spanish Civil War almost a century earlier (1820-23). Other sub-texts explored are the efficacy of intelligence gathering and old-fashioned detective work, and the roles chance and coincidence play in events.
The book is well paced, starting slowly and gradually picking up speed before barreling through to the end. Parts of the story are predictable, but some of the plot twists are truly shocking. Readers are advised to have a contiguous block of time available for the last third of the novel; once started, it's difficult to put down. There are those who may be put off by the disturbing nature of a few scenes, but most readers will enjoy this addition to the genre. (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1192 words).
A Short History of al-Qaeda
The history of the Sunni-Muslim organization al-Qaeda ("The Base") can be traced to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Osama bin Laden, a young, wealthy Islamic idealist from Saudi Arabia, felt compelled to assist his fellow Muslims in their struggle against these "infidels." He moved his factories to Afghanistan, and joined the resistance group Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK), led by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. Together they organized a world-wide recruiting program which advertised for young Muslims to fight against the Soviets. The Afghan government donated land for training bases, while bin Laden paid for the volunteers' transportation, facilities and training. He brought in experts ...
If you liked The Walking Dead, try these:
A distraught woman writes a letter to Osama bin Laden after her four-year-old son and her husband are killed in a massive suicide bomb attack at a soccer match in London in this stunning first novel.
How is it possible for one middle-aged Saudi millionaire to threaten the world's only superpower? This is the question at the center of Jonathan Randal's riveting, timely account of Osama bin Laden's role in the rise of terrorism in the Middle East.
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