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The audience that gathered at the Croft Hall, Hungerford, to hear Gerald Seymour speak on his latest book A Damned Serious Business, would have been greeted that same morning by one broadsheet newspaper’s front page claiming, “Russian cyber-attack could kill thousands.”

Such topicality is to be expected of Gerald Seymour, a former journalist who has written more than 30 successful thrillers.

His first, Harry’s Game – apparently written in just three weeks – was hailed as a modern classic. Since then he has published a novel almost every year – all with different main characters; strong, yet vulnerable lone wolves who are interesting, flawed and realistic.

His latest novel, published just weeks ago, A Damned Serious Business, is a contemporary thriller on the impact of Russian hackers and cyber-attacks, set in Narva on the border between Russia and Estonia.

“Learning about inner workings of cyber-attacks was an amazing learning curve” he laughed.

Prior to publishing Harry’s Game in 1975, Seymour was best known as an ITN reporter and the interview provided some fantastic anecdotes and a window onto Seymour’s disciplined writing routine; who knew that Yasser Arafat and an occasional sniff of Tippex had both had a hand in his prodigious output?

This fascinating interview flew by thanks to Seymour’s thoughtful and eloquent stories as well as Jon Stock’s skilful and well-researched questioning thanks to his own background in the genre.

This was a remarkable evening on serious topics yet presented with humour and modesty. A Damned Serious Business by Gerald Seymour and Find Me by Jon Stock, writing as JS Monroe, are both available at Hungerford Bookshop, who organised the event.

 

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