Cry Havoc

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Overview

SIS agent Peter Ashton, currently the department head for the Eastern European desk, finds himself facing the touchiest - and most dangerous situation of his career as the SIS itself comes under siege from persons or groups unknown. Someone who is clearly ferreting out some of the most closely held secrets of the intelligence agency and using them to make some not-so-veiled threats.

At the same time, Jill Sheridan, one of the most senior SIS people, is off in Florida, trying to ...

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2003 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 352 p. Peter Ashton Novels. Audience: General/trade. Book is New

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Overview

SIS agent Peter Ashton, currently the department head for the Eastern European desk, finds himself facing the touchiest - and most dangerous situation of his career as the SIS itself comes under siege from persons or groups unknown. Someone who is clearly ferreting out some of the most closely held secrets of the intelligence agency and using them to make some not-so-veiled threats.

At the same time, Jill Sheridan, one of the most senior SIS people, is off in Florida, trying to stay well out of the way while her lover's wife involves her in a very nasty, very public divorce. While there, however, she is compromised and finds herself being blackmailed by an Islamic terrorist group.

When a large quantity of an illicit chemical agent turns up in rather unlikely place, it falls to Ashton to evaluate these three very disparate turns of event. Somehow, these seemingly unrelated but troubling events are all part of the same careful, complex and very deadly plot - one that threatens the highest reaches of England's security service. With few leads and very little time, Peter Ashton must uncover and neutralize his most deadly enemy to date.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British veteran Egleton (One Man Running, etc.) is the pipe and slippers of the thriller trade, a great comfort after a day of dealing with flashier and more trendy stories. True, his material is somewhat dated (though published in the U.K. in 2002, this latest Peter Ashton novel refers to upcoming intelligence budget meetings for 1997-1998), and he's guilty of the occasional clich (virtually all fights are "tooth and nail"). But Egleton's characters and settings are familiar and credible, and his tales of British SIS infighting and backstabbing usually ring true. Ashton, the newly appointed head of Eastern European intelligence, is learning new administrative skills. "Listen to me, Peter," says his boss, Sir Victor Hazelwood. "You're no longer a foot soldier; the days when you were the cutting edge have gone for good... Do I make myself clear?" Ashton bites the bullet and keep his upper lip as stiff as possible, delegating most of the investigation into the suspicious suicide of an agent in the Asian division to capable underlings. Meanwhile, Ashton's former flame, Jill Sheridan-who's risen to be Hazelwood's deputy director-finds herself drugged and starring in a porno movie in Miami. Of course, Ashton soon resumes his old cutting-edge persona, slicing through both messes with admirable skill. Egleton might not have the literary grace of a le Carr or a Deighton, but his staying power, 28 novels and counting, is impressive. (Aug. 29) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
They've kicked him upstairs, sure, but superagent Peter Ashton hasn't lost a step. By no means is everyone in Britain's SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) an Ashton fan (One Man Running, 2002, etc.)-"loose cannon" is among the gentler detractions-but, come on, the man has saved Old Blighty from disaster more often than Henry V and Winston Churchill combined. So, belatedly and rather shamefacedly, they've given him a department: the Eastern European desk. As his boss, that "thruster" Victor Hazelwood, who knows how much of his Director Generalship is owed to Ashton's performance, privately acknowledges, "he hadn't always done right by the younger man." But almost before Ashton can get his chair warm, trouble and strife have the SIS family shaking and quaking. Blame it on that other stormy petrel, Jill Sheridan, who's even more ambitious than Victor Hazelwood. Once on the fast track to becoming SIS's first female Director General, she has recently stumbled, taken some vicious anti-collegial hits, endured some serious bureaucratic blindsiding. To rethink tactics-and lick wounds-she's opted for a bit of vacation time in the States in the hope of improved perspective. But once there, Jill, so often the exploiter, sees the tables turned: she's victimized and humiliated with embarrassing ease. Well and truly seduced-and drugged out of her mind-she awakes in a sleazy hotel room to find herself naked, in chains, the star of a porno film, and blackmailable to her eyeteeth. Ashton and Hazelwood huddle. No way any of this can have a thing to do with the Eastern European desk, Ashton insists. Maybe not, Hazelwood admits, but the situation's a mess-and messes are always going to be Ashton's business.Over the course of 31 outings, Egleton has proved that few can make reptilian bureaucratic intrigue as intriguing as he can.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312309435
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/2003
  • Series: Peter Ashton Novels Series, #10
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Egleton has extensive personal experience in the intelligence and counter-intelligence fields and is widely regarded as one of the finest writers of the espionage thriller in its classic form. His the author of twenty-nine novels, most recently One Man Running. He lives on the Isle of Wight.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting espionage thriller

    Everyone employed by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is shocked by the suicide death of the head of the Asian Desk Bill Orchard. Representing SIS at the funeral is Will Landon who is accosted by the victim¿s sister-in-law claiming the Firm killed him and that just prior to his death SIS Deputy Director General Jill Sheridan visited him. Will reports the claim to his superior Peter Ashton, head of the Eastern European Desk, who reports this to the DG.<P> Jill has other problems besides the probe into her and Bill¿s activities. Apparently while on Florida vacation, she was drugged and videotaped having kinky sex. The client then kills the movie producer Kransky and his two actors. Terrorists believe they have perfect blackmail material and it becomes Peter¿s job to lead the effort to abort their diabolical plan.<P> CRY HAVOC is a strong modern day espionage thriller that sub-genre readers will enjoy and not just for its terrorist subplot. Fans will appreciate its insightful look at how politics impede and interfere with accomplishing the mission especially at the DG level. Will and Peter are delightful protagonists and Jill is a piece of work who the audience will not want to meet in a dark alley. Clive Egelton¿s latest tale is a winner.<P> Harriet Klausner

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