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Summary and book reviews of A Line In The Sand by Gerald Seymour

A Line In The Sand

by Gerald Seymour

A Line In The Sand
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2001, 480 pages

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Book Summary

Iran has dispatched its most deadly assassin to kill Frank Perry - unless Perry´s protectors can reach him first. A powerful and thrilling novel about how the past can haunt the present.

In a village on the English seacoast, Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive.

He believed that it would never catch up with him, that he was safe. A decade earlier, he spied on the Iranian chemical and biological weapons installations -- he had privileged access and his information crippled their killing capacity.

Now, Iran will have its revenge and has dispatched its most deadly assassin to fulfill the task. Code-named The Anvil, he will move with stealth towards his chosen objective -- unless Perry´s protectors can reach him first.

But the first threat to Perry comes from closer to home. Within the local community many are outraged by the preparations being undertaken for his safety and, fearing for their lives, they close ranks against him.

As the assassin draws nearer, the ring of steel protecting Perry grows tighter, and the pressure from those whom he believed to be his friends grows stronger and more violent. But against a faceless adversary, and with the job fatally compromised by stifling political bureaucracy and domestic tension, there seems little chance that the past will not have its day once more.

A Line in the Sand is a powerful and thrilling novel about how the past can haunt the present and how profound its consequences can be. It is about public and private courage and the difficulties of uniting the two. Once again Gerald Seymour demonstrates that he is one of the most penetrating and compelling thriller writers of the modern era.

Prologue

He knew it was the last time he would be there.

He stepped through the double door of the administration building, held open for him, and the sinking afternoon sun blasted against his face. He blinked hard, momentarily blinded, and stopped disorientated in his tracks. He lowered the glasses from the crown of his head onto the bridge of his nose. They were all around him, crowded in the doorway, and they were his friends -- more than just the people he did business with, true friends.

The car was waiting. The driver stood beside the rear door and smiled at him with respect. The technicians, engineers, and managers pressed close to him to shake his hand, hold his arms, and brush-kiss his cheeks. The friendships had been nurtured over many years. When he had left the office of the project manager, three or four minutes before, he had started a stuttering progress down a shadowed, cool corridor, stopping by each door to make his farewells. He had been wished a good ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Library Journal

In this character-driven thriller, Seymour, the author of 17 best-selling novels, weaves multiple points of view with professional skill--the host of characters are all unusually well drawn, distinct, and believable--and depicts the disintegration of Frank's life with a master's touch. Highly recommended

Booklist - George Needham

High Noon meets George Smiley in this fascinating, unsettling novel about a community that turns its back on one of its own when his past comes back to haunt him.... he builds the suspense to a nearly unbearable level and then masterfully drives home his point that all terrorism is ultimately pointless.

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