Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyBritish spy Peter Ashton, first seen in Hostile Intent , has now taken a career jump sideways, to head the Vetting, Security and Technical Services division of Britain's SIS. Still under a shadow of suspicion from his earlier adventure, still struggling with a by-the-book immediate superior, the 30-something Ashton is also still a bit of a loose cannon. Here, he's trying not to get involved with the Moscow murder of a British businessman, but his security expertise betrays him when he uncovers an unwilling Russian spy in Britain's trade liaison office in that city. The plot unfolds to offer bent KGB agents, a shadowy English entrepreneur, Serb oil buyers and a pillar-of-the-community businessman in Seattle with family ties to the Serbs. Egleton is a master at keeping the pot boiling, developing an intricate plot and moving his characters around with great dash and no little humor. Moreover, his characterizations are deft--whether of a frightened young Russian woman, her emotional father, who risks his life for her, a corrupt KGB killer or Peter's statuesque, slightly gauche new love interest. In its second installment, this series is on firm--and firmly enjoyable--footing. (Aug.)
Library JournalPeter Ashton, a British agent who first surfaced in Hostile Intent (St. Martin's, 1993), is an entrepreneurial agent who thinks for himself. Sent to the Moscow embassy to appraise the local security efforts, he gets caught up in the investigation of the murder of a British subject. Puzzled by contradictions in the evidence, he enlists the help of a minor Russian functionary, a woman who is beaten and tortured for what she may know. Soon, the trail leads to Seattle and Serbia, where international commerce has been put to corrupt ends. Egleton is never fanciful but always imaginative, and his latest novel is densely plotted and peopled with full and convincing characters. He writes so authoritatively about the inner workings of British intelligence that fiction is hardly the right word to describe his work. For all popular collections.-Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress
Emily MeltonEgleton has written another outstanding spy thriller--fast paced, intricately plotted, action packed, witty, and intelligent. The story, set in post-cold war Russia, features renegade superspy Peter Ashton, who gets in hot water with his by-the-book superiors every time he's assigned to a case. Because he associated once too often with his Russian counterparts, Ashton has been relegated to a dogsbody role out of the limelight. But that doesn't keep him from poking his nose into a puzzling and brutal triple murder in Moscow, where, coincidentally, he has come to inspect security arrangements at the British Embassy. Both the Brits and the Russians seem oddly eager to sweep the whole messy business under the carpet, but Ashton smells something decidedly fishy--and as it turns out, he's right. The murders are just one tiny part of a global scheme with astonishing repercussions. High marks in all categories for Egleton's superb, suspenseful, and highly entertaining espionage thriller--a good bet to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
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