Related to: 'The Untouchable'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

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Harry's Game

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A British cabinet minister is gunned down on a London street by an IRA assassin. In the wake of national outcry, the authorities must find the hitman. But the trail is long cold, the killer gone to ground in Belfast, and they must resort to more unorthodox methods to unearth him. Ill prepared and poorly briefed, undercover agent Harry Brown is sent into the heart of enemy territory to infiltrate the terrorists.But when it is a race against the clock, mistakes are made and corners cut. For Harry Brown, alone in a city of strangers, where an intruder is the subject of immediate gossip and rumour, one false move is enough to leave him fatally isolated...

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In Honour Bound

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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A Line in the Sand

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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Traitor's Kiss

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

An English trawler strays into Russian waters. When it returns, the captain has a package to deliver to British intelligence. For the next four years a high-ranked Russian naval officer, Viktor Archenko, passes valuable information to MI6. Suddenly the flow of information stops. His contacts in London know nothing about him - but they know that he's under suspicion. The time has come to get him out.But the new breed now playing the spy game have no interest in irrelevant Cold War sparring or the risk of a scandal. There are deals to be done, alliances to be made. They would rather leave Archenko to fend for himself. Only one veteran agent realises that there is much more at stake than one man's life. Only he dares ask the question: if the war is over, who will fight the peace?

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The Glory Boys

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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The Contract

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Discharged from the British Army in disgrace, Johnny Donoghue is eager to redeem himself. His task is to slip undercover into East Germany and persuade a prominent scientist working on Soviet missile systems to defect.But no one warns Johnny of the dangers involved in crossing the border, nor can he ever imagine the effect the actions of fickle politicians will have on his task. Nothing can prepare Johnny for the impact of the momentous decision the scientist will be forced to make, and no one could have predicted the involvement of the scientist's headstrong daughter . . .

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Archangel

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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Home Run

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Mattie Furniss has run British Intelligence agents in Iran from his desk in London for two decades. But when he is ordered to the country himself, it is clear that times are desperate. One of Furniss' key informants and close friends is Charlie Eshraq, a young Iranian whose family was murdered during the revolution. Charlie is determined to avenge their deaths and becomes involved in drug smuggling to fund his campaign. When the daughter of a prominent MP dies from a heroin overdose and the British establishment demands a crackdown on Iranian drug traffickers, Mattie and Charlie suddenly find themselves alone in the spider's web. In a hostile environment where their every move is watched, will they be able to escape alive?

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Field of Blood

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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Red Fox

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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At Close Quarters

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Peter Holt, a young diplomat, witnesses the horrific murder of his fiance and the British Ambassador within days of a new posting to the Soviet Union. The report of the murder lands on the desk of a British Intelligence officer who suspects Palestinian involvement, althought the Russians insist that it was not a terrorist attack.The British government are determined to extract revenge and Holt is the only man able to identify the assassin. He is sent to the Lebanon and the perilous Beqa'a Valley, which serves as a stronghold for the most extreme guerilla groups. Unauthorised access to the valley is virtually impossible, and capture by the Syrian Army would result in torture and death. His only company is Noah Crane, an Israeli expert sniper, who acts as his mentor and guide. But when Syrian Intelligence learn of their presence, their cover is blown. And now it is too late to turn back.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Danger

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A mass grave is uncovered in a devastated Croatian village and the mutilated body of a young Englishwoman Dorrie Mowat is exhumed.Her mother who detested Dorrie when she was alive is determined to find out how her daughter died. But with civil war tearing apart the former Yugoslavia none of the authorities are interested in what they view as a minor war crime. She employs private investigator Bill Penn a former MI5 officer who anticipated a short trip to Zagreb where he will compile a meaningless report and receive a good fee at the end of it. But once he has seen the killing ground Penn becomes determined to find the truth behind the young woman's death.As Penn searches for evidence of war crimes he finds himself pitted against a ruthless opponent who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks...

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Kingfisher

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A group of four students, Ukrainian Jews, are fighting for recognition within the Soviet Union. They are tired of being treated as second-class citizens and are prepared to use violence if necessary. When one of their number is captured after shooting a policeman, they know time is running out. Their only hope is to hijack a plane, fly to the West and then on to Israel.One country after another refuses to let them land, untill the plane finally sets down in Britain, low on fuel. Charlie Webster, an Intelligence officer on the Soviet desk, is brought in to negotiate with the hijackers. But it is unclear whether they are political refugees or dangerous criminals. As the government wavers, the students become increasingly desperate and start to lose patience, and control.

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A Song in the Morning

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
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The Journeyman Tailor

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

In the villages and on the mountains of County Tyrone, in the heartland of the Provisional IRA's most active Brigade, the golden rule is 'Hear nothing, see nothing, know nothing'. To collaborate with British Intelligence is to invite an inescapable death sentence.But there is word on the mountain that inside the Brigade there is a 'tout', an informer. He will be identified, interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot.Gary Brennard, the MI5 field agent, and Parker, who runs the informer, have to protect their man at all costs: he is the critical asset to hold on to until the stakes are high enough... and if the innocent step into the crossfire, that's just bad luck.

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Killing Ground

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

A young English schoolteacher, Charlotte Parsons, is invited to resume her job as nanny to the children of a well-to-do Sicilian family. But this time Charley is the centre figure in a desperate plot by the US Drug Enforcement Agency to trap Mario Ruggerio, would-be head of the Sicilian Mafia, the man who masterminds a multi-billion dollar international drugs trade. Charley is to be the bait in the trap and, in deciding to return to the Ruggerio family in Palermo, is about to enter the killing ground...

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Holding The Zero

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Gus Peake should have kept his job and stayed at home, but an old family debt of friendship draws him to the remote wastes of Northern Iraq and to a savage forgotten war between Kurdish guerillas and Saddam Hussein's military strength.To the brutal, no-quarter combat, Peake can bring the skills he has learned as a marksman. But there is no room for mistakes on the field of battle and he must quickly learn to deal out random death at long distance, and help the guerillas to reach their goal, the city of Kirkuk, the old capital of the Kurdish people.From Baghdad, Iraq sends Major Karim Aziz, the most dedicated and professional sniper in Saddam's army. For both men their duel, from which only one can walk away, becomes an obsession. And it will only take one shot, echoing in the mountains and vallegs, to settle the score...

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Condition Black

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

It is only month before Saddam Hussein instructs his troops in invade Kuwait, and the Iraqis will stop at nothing to achieve nuclear capability. They are actively targeting scientists from the West who can help them acquire the intelligence they need.When Bill Erlich, a young FBI agent, learns that one of his closest friends has been murdered in Athens, he vows that he will find the killer, even if it means breaking the rules. The man he suspects is a British mercenary known as Colt, who has been working for the Iraqi government, and is as elusive as he is dangerous.Erlich follows Colt to England, where he has been dispatched to recruit a disaffected scientist. Determined to bring Colt to justice at whatever cost, Erlich crosses an invisible line beyond which there is no return...

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The Fighting Man

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

Thrown out of the SAS for insubordination, Gord Brown spends his dreary, uneventful days on a remote salmon farm in Scotland. Everything changes when he is approached by three Guatemalan Indians, who are desperately searching for a fighting man, someone to mastermind an uprising against the brutal military dictatorship who have massacred so many of their people. Suddenly his life has a purpose once again.The four men land in Cuba and fly across into the jungles of Guatemala, where they rapidly assemble a guerilla army. But as they approach the capital city, the goverment becomes increasingly threatened by their presence and is determined to annihilate them at all costs...

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The Waiting Time

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour