The Last Exile
E. V. Seymour
Mira, Sep 1 2008, $7.99
In Birmingham, England their Control tells police officers Paul and Stu to shoot a woman fleeing from them as they thought she was a terrorist tied to a failed bomb attempt. Later they learn the person they killed was innocent. Both are forced to leave the department as someone must take the fall for the mistake though authorized by their Control.
Over the next year, remorseful Paul is an alcoholic security officer while his former partner is an emaciated drunk. M15 hires Paul to find four illegal immigrants who served prison sentences, but before they were to be deported they vanished. He is to only find the quartet and not confront any of them as immigration officials will apprehend these illegals. Given one file to work at a time, Paul solves the first case, but the wrap up is not what he expected.
Although there is no explanation as to why the two cops became the fall guys, or why they failed to fight back as others share in the wrongful death, fans will enjoy the first Paul Tallis thriller. He is guilt laden with an empty feeling inside his gut and his family relationships only enhance his hollow sense of worth. The M15 case makes for a fascinating British thriller with Tallis’ mental hell turning bleaker as his seared soul makes Dante’s Inferno seem heavenly.