In “The Seige” Charlie Flowers skillfully unwinds a tale of “no-holds-barred” action and with a unique twist of irreverence and humor. Captain David Mahoney is a British intelligence officer working to foil the activies of terrorists lead by, of all people Saddam Hussein. While plans are laid to seize and destroy the Iranian Embassy in London, Mahoney is working to foil the entire plot. Mahoney has placed a man, Tariq, inside the cabal of terrorists.
As the plot unfolds we are introduced to Mahoney and his fellow soldiers. What makes “The Seige” unique and entertaining is that the lack of standard blood and guts banter. The soldiers involved in this tale, especially Mahoney, are irreverent, arch, and totally unconcerned with authority. Mahoney, obviously a veteran of numerous intelligence campaigns, is charmingly vulgar, flip, and unconcerned. The only truly serious issue for Mahoney is the welfare of his undercover man Tariq and the people he is protecting; these are the only issues that cause him to be fully serious.
As the plot unfolds we are introduced to dozens of stoic brits who enjoy the chase as much as they love victory. This is not your standard espionage novel and what might have passed as stiff upper lip military men in another standard espionage novel are replaced by men who combine joy with duty. Not boy scouts, these soldiers, but balls to the wall fighters with a touch of the prankster.
Not to say that Mahoney and his colleagues are not skilled. The reader is witness to a number of skillsets born of years of sieges and terrorist attacks. While the discussion of weapons and technology is often above the heads of many readers, the descriptions are fascinating and realistic. These men even use models of a target building to plan their attacks. All in all there is a sense of passion, competency and shared comradery between disparate departments in the military and the intelligence community.
Anyone who enjoys a good espionage story will love this book. But there is a bit more, a bonus in the creation of characters that add a more human dimension to what could be a dry and formulaic story. Definitely a must read.