A novel about a plan by MI6 to gain information on Iranian military secrets is a page-turner, but the main character's siren image wears thin.
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A corporal in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard falls prey to a honeytrap set by MI6 in Dubai; the trusted chauffeur of a much larger prize, a general with access to the country’s nuclear and military secrets, he must be persuaded to spill the beans in Seymour’s latest thriller.
Competently plotted with the added spice of a few local references, The Corporal’s Wife rips along, thanks in part to abrupt and frequent changes of place that some readers will find a disorientating and irritating narrative device.
It’s not too hard to keep up though, as the corporal’s disloyal wife Farideh is swiftly introduced along with her claustrophobic daily existence. The following plot hinges on an unlikely plan to use mercenaries to smuggle Farideh out of Tehran to be reunited with her husband, whom she loathes.
While Seymour’s characterisation and scene-setting stand up to fleeting scrutiny as the reader quickly turns the pages, it’s Farideh who proves to be the novel’s weakness as her siren-like status wears thin. A poor man’s John le Carré by the end.