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

Barney Crispin, a Captain in the SAS, is as tough as they come. He is sent on an urgent mission to the Afghanistan border: to destroy one of the Soviet Mi-24 helicopters, a highly sophisticated and virtually invulnerable piece of military equipment, and retrieve the hardware. In order to do so, he needs the help of the Mujahidin resistance and must first train them in the ways of stealth and sabotage.But the guerillas he trains are ill-equipped and disorganised. Their attempt fails and several of them are killed in the process. Against orders and with only eight missiles and a local boy as his guide, Barney decides to undertake the mission alone, his own solitary battle for vengeance...

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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
Hodder & Stoughton

The Glory Boys

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

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
Hodder & Stoughton

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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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.

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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

Four Ukrainian Jews are engaged in a bitter fight for recognition within the Soviet Union. When one of them 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.Britain is the only country that allows the plane to land. Charlie Webster, an Intelligence officer, is brought in to negotiate with the hijackers: are they political refugees or dangerous criminals? As the British government prevaricates, the hijackers become increasingly desperate, losing 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

The US Drug Enforcement Agency is desperate to capture Mario Ruggerio, the would-be leader of the Sicilian Mafia and the mastermind behind a multi-billion dollar international drugs trade.Charlotte Parsons, a young English schoolteacher, was the Ruggerio family's nanny four years ago. When she is asked to take up her old job she is excited at the prospect of leaving behind a sleepy Devon village. But Charley doesn't realise that she is the live bait in an American trap, and that she jas just entered the killing ground . . . WITH AN EXCLUSIVE NEW FOREWORD BY JOHN FOLLAIN

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Holding The Zero

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Condition Black

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

The Persian Gulf, 1991. Saddam Hussein is determined that Iraq should stop at nothing to arm herself with nuclear warheads.An English scientist, struggling to make ends meet, is seduced into the conspiracy. Meanwhile, young FBI agent Bill Erlich hears that a close friend has been murdered in Athens. Vowing to avenge him at any cost, Erlich uncovers a name: Colt, a dangerous British mercenary now working for the Iraqi government.Unaware that he is the only thing standing in the way of the total collapse of the Middle Eastern military situation, Erlich follows his target to England, where he is faced with one final confrontation.

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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
Hodder & Stoughton

The Unknown Soldier

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour