Nine hundred years ago Hasan-I-Sabah founded the Assassins, the most effective killing machine in the world. Their cult of political murder created a terrorist environment throughout the Middle East.

In this realistic novel by Gerald Seymour, their progeny continue that tradition. Now the murder motive is vengeance.

Frank Perry is living a quiet, hidden life on the shore of Suffolk. A decade ago Perry was known by a different name and was caught by the British government selling machinery to Iran that would enable the Iranians to create chemical and biological weapons. Perry decided to help the British spy agency and became an information courier. At the end of the project he is given a new name and a new life. Now the Anvil is the assassin assigned by the Islamic movement to terminate Frank Perry.

When an FBI agent in Saudi Arabia learns of the mission and warns British authorities, they attempt to rescue Frank Perry by offering him yet another relocation. Perry refuses. He is tired of running and determined to stay. The tension builds as the assassin travels by ship from Iran to England and makes his way to Suffolk.

This is High Noon with Frank Perry in the Gary Cooper role. Seymour's elegant and nuanced details of espionage activities lend realism as the novel moves toward its stunning climax.

Larry Woods is an attorney in Nashville.

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