Seymour, E V - 'The Last Exile'
Paul Tallis, an armed Birmingham police officer, together with a colleague kill a fleeing woman who was a suspected terrorist, but is in fact innocent. Both police officers then leave the force. One year on and Paul is feeling very sorry for himself, working as a lowly paid security officer and drinking too much and starting to lose his fitness. His ex-partner has fared worse and has become a hopeless drunk.
Paul is contacted by a mystery woman, a government official from MI5, who offers him a job to track down four illegal immigrants: all have served prison sentences and been released, but they should have been deported. Paul's job is to ascertain their whereabouts and the immigration officers will make the arrest. Paul is given one file at a time and is immediately successful but with unforeseen consequences.
Paul's personal life which includes a very difficult relationship with his father and his elder brother and which is not made easier because of an affair with his brother's ex wife, plays a part in the dilemma that he finds himself in with the jobs given to him by MI5.
The opening chapter which includes the killing of the innocent girl is obviously loosely based on the death of Jean Charles de Menezes. But unlike the metropolitan police in that incident Paul and Stu lose their jobs. This is not explained at all and why it happened, when they were clearly following orders. There are other anomalies but these are made clear near the end of the book.
This is the second book by E V Seymour (her first, ABSENT LIGHT, was published under the name of Eve Isherwood) and a third book (presumably involving Paul Tallis ) is underway. After a shaky start, which seemed to be a book aimed at the Loaded lads age group, E V Seymour builds up a good thriller which keeps your interest to the end. 'The last exile' by the way, is a reference to the fourth and final case MI5 give to him. I look forward to the next book.
Geoff Jones, England