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Book review: Beyond Recall

27 May 2020 / 10:48 H.

GERALD SEYMOUR be a bit difficult to follow the storyline at times and the reader may sometimes wonder where the story is heading, but Gerald Seymour has a way of bringing him or her back to it, eventually.

In this multifaceted novel, the savaging of a Syrian village is at the centre of this complex narrative. However, that story is offered in bits and pieces and in between, the reader is treated to the story of how a British Secret agent extracts payback for the horrible events that happened one fateful day in that village.

The outcome of that mission occurs in the wilds of the Kola peninsula where the Dutch explorer, William Barents perished with his crew some 500 or so years ago.

The protagonists include Gary (Gaz) Baldwin, a reconnaissance specialist, two young drug pushers from the town of Murmansk in northern Russia, a backwoodsman called Jasha who has a strange relationship with a bear he calls Zhukov, and many more.

The landscapes, whether of Syria or of Arctic Russia, are described in fascinating detail, as are the thoughts of the principal protagonists.

The setting, the history and all of its intrigues will eventually draw you in. What is most intriguing about Beyond Recall is the detailed offering of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment.

And in particular, the unique character of the soldiers selected and trained to conduct surveillance in a combat zone.

Despite this and the exotic sub-Arctic mentioned in the later half of the book, some readers may experience some frustration, especially those who may find the going a bit tedious.

Still, it is an evocative novel having all the ingredients: a hero battling against all the odds and determined to do the right thing, and the evil ones paying the price for their crime.

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