Cover image for Dead ground
Dead ground
Seymour, Gerald.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Waiting time
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Physical Description:
365 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Great Britain as The waiting time by Bantam Press, a division of Transworld Publishers Ltd."--T.p. verso.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Library
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Tracy Barnes seeks revenge against the secret police who murdered her lover some 15 years before. But in East Germany, a country still at war with itself, she finds herself played as a pawn in a far bigger game of revenge that reaches all the way to Moscow.

Author Notes

Gerald Seymour was born on November 25, 1941 in Guilford, Surrey, England. He received a BA Honors degree in Modern History from University College London. He was a broadcast journalist who covered many overseas conflicts including the Vietnam War, the Munich Olympics massacre, and Palestinian militant groups.

His first book, Harry's Game, was published in 1975 and soon afterwards, he retired from journalism to become a full-time author. Many of his other books were adapted into television movies and Field of Blood was adapted as the feature film, The Informant, starring Timothy Dalton.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The cold war may be over, but veteran spy novelists like Seymour still find uses for the cloak and dagger. Here British Army corporal Tracy Barnes has a chance to settle an old score when she encounters the East German Stasi officer who killed her lover back when the cold war was still hot. After she assaults Dieter Krause, the Stasi officer now turned respectable, Tracy lands in detention. She emerges determined to uncover evidence against Krause. Her trip to the former East Germany draws a crowd, including former British agents with their own agendas. Tracy gets her evidence and a lot more than she bargained for in a twisting ending to a dark novel filled with well-drawn characters doing evil things in the name of political expediency. --Budd Arthur

Publisher's Weekly Review

Seymour, whose tales of international intrigue cover much the same ground as John le Carr‚'s (Red Fox, Harry's Game), but are grittier and less polished, has come up with a particularly strong entry this time out. Tracy Barnes is a corporal in British military intelligence who once had an affair with a young East German who was killed on an ill-advised spying mission for the West on the north German Baltic coast. Years later, Barnes encounters the killer again. When the former Stasi official, Dieter Krause, turns up at a reception where he is being coddled by British and American intelligence for his closeness to Pyotr Rykov, a key Russian military officer, Barnes flies at him and is thrown in the brig. Enter Josh Mantle, himself a former intelligence officer whose adherence to principle cost him his career, and who is now a small-time solicitor's clerk in an outer London suburb. He takes on Tracy's case at the urging of her old mum, gets her out of jail with the aid of a double-dealing agent with his own agenda, and the two set off for Rostock to try to establish Krause's guilt in the murder, in an Eastern Germany now anxious to forget its Communist past. The trouble is that the few witnesses have all been intimidatedÄand Krause knows better than Barnes and Mantle just who they are, and how to reach them. It is a fast-moving mixture of chase and cat-and-mouse, set against the brilliantly observed forlorn, chilly corner of Germany as winter sets in. Mantle and Barnes are an oddly assorted pair, driven by very different motives and a sense of mutual dislike, and are in turn the pawns of a divided intelligence establishment with mixed priorities. The book is densely but clearly plotted and brings off the intricate scheming with complete conviction; only what feels like one too many dramatic reversals near the end, depriving the narrative of a likely upbeat ending, is strained. But Seymour proves there is still vigorous life in an apparently tired genre if the energy and craft are at a sufficiently high level. Agent, Peter Matson at Sterling Lord. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The end of the Cold War need not prevent skilled espionage writers from delving into the same settings and themes as before the Berlin Wall went down. Seymour (Holding the Zero) does so skillfully by having a 1988 murder in East Berlin come back to haunt the participants a decade later. In London, British Army corporal Tracy Barnes attacks Dieter Krause, the former Stasi agent who killed her spy lover, Hans Becker. After being jailed and released, she escapes to Germany to find evidence against Krause. Following her is Josh Mantle, former intelligence officer and derelict, now a lowly solicitor's clerk. Together, they unravel a sticky web of complicity and betrayal reminiscent of John le Carr‚ at his best as Seymour demonstrates how the sins of the past are not only inescapable but how they stain the innocent as well. Robert Whitfield excels at providing a wide range of accents and voices, especially the world-weariness of the no-nonsense investigator pursuing Tracy and Josh. Highly recommended.ÄMichael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.