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Games Traitors Play

Games Traitors Play

by Jon Stock

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"The perfect post-Bond spy...Move over, Jason Bourne." —BookPage

Salim Dhar is the world's most wanted terrorist. After he narrowly failed to kill the U.S. president, the CIA is under pressure to hunt him down. Echelon, the West's intelligence analysis network, is in meltdown, monitoring all channels for the faintest trace of Dhar. But no one can find


"The perfect post-Bond spy...Move over, Jason Bourne." —BookPage

Salim Dhar is the world's most wanted terrorist. After he narrowly failed to kill the U.S. president, the CIA is under pressure to hunt him down. Echelon, the West's intelligence analysis network, is in meltdown, monitoring all channels for the faintest trace of Dhar. But no one can find him. Only Daniel Marchant, renegade MI6 officer, knows where he is.

Marchant pursues Dhar up into the Atlas Mountains outside Marrakech, where he sees an unmarked military helicopter take off and head east. Is someone shielding Dhar to perpetrate an act of proxy terrorism on the West? Or is the CIA right when it claims to have killed him?

To discover the truth, Marchant must be recruited by Moscow. It's a role that will require him to believe his late father was a traitor, an allegation that he fought long and hard to dispel. Now he must rekindle those rumors and confront dark truths about his own loyalties.

As Britain braces itself for an airborne terrorist attack, Marchant is about to discover that treachery is the greatest game of all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Daniel Merchant pursues the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Salim Dhar, who tried to kill the U.S. president, in Stock’s smart second thriller featuring the MI6 agent (after 2010’s Dead Spy Running). Along the way, Merchant battles Russians and terrorists as well as American intelligence as personified by blowhard CIA official James Spiro. In a particularly wince-inducing scene, Merchant is tortured by a Moroccan intelligence officer, who employs the classic techniques used in William Goldman’s The Boys from Brazil. Merchant later escapes to England, where his mentor, MI6 chief Marcus Fielding, commiserates briefly, then sends him back into the jaws of death in search of Dhar. The crosses—double, triple, and beyond—will set readers’ heads spinning as they attempt to keep track of character loyalties. While Merchant appears to succeed a little too easily in the end, the last installment of the projected trilogy will no doubt hold more than one nasty surprise for our hero. Agent: Claire Paterson, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“In Stock's smart second thriller starring the MI6 agent ... the crosses--double, triple, and beyond--will set readers' heads spinning.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Dead Spy Running launched Marchant with a brilliant contest between sweaty and cerebral thriller styles. Round two is more tense as Stock ramps up his cynical relish for the complexity with which 'allies' in the war on terror wage war on each other.” —The Telegraph (UK)

“This is a twenty-first century spy story that pulls no punches, [it] is laced with treachery and deceit, and allies high adventure with high technology in a seamless way.” —Northern Echo (UK)

“A thriller with sufficient red-herrings to keep you busy trying to outguess the hero and the villains.” —The Aucklander (NZ)

“Stock brings European spy thrillers into the 21st century, adapting his story and narrative to meet the raised expectations of a tech-aware generation that relies heavily on realism, even in fiction.” —Express Buzz (India)

“Espionage action at its best.” —The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“A complex thriller about the search for a 'most wanted' terrorist.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A rip-roaring race of a read that never lets up.” —Robert Goddard on Dead Spy Running

“Twisty and relentless. Stock has brought the literary spy novel into the twenty-first century.” —Portsmouth Herald on Dead Spy Running

“An elegant, unstoppable front runner of a spy thriller.” —The Observer (UK) on Dead Spy Running

“As elegant as le Carré and as cynical as the twenty-first century…Exactly what we need from a spy novel now.” —Lee Child on Dead Spy Running

“The sophistication of John le Carré or David Ignatius...this is a Jason Bourne sweat-fest with George Smiley's brain.” —Daily Telegraph on Dead Spy Running

“Picks up more or less where le Carré left off.” —The Guardian on Dead Spy Running

“A compelling thriller.” —The Sunday Times on Dead Spy Running

“Its deliciously John Buchan-like hero could be chasing the 39 steps.” —Daily Mail on Dead Spy Running

“As strong as Bourne, as clever as Bond, but with a voice set for Generation Next, Jon Stock has done the impossible in Daniel Marchant and created THE new spy.” —Stephen Gaghan on Dead Spy Running

“Smart, classy, and relentlessly gripping, Dead Spy Running grabs the reader and doesn't let go. I couldn't quit turning the pages -- like Daniel Marchant running the London marathon, I couldn't stop.” —Meg Gardiner, author of China Lake, on Dead Spy Running

Kirkus Reviews
Ploys and counter-ploys, motives sincere and suspicious, agents trustworthy and treacherous--plus a daunting lexicon of spy-agency jargon, terms and acronyms--highlight a complex thriller about the search for a "most wanted" terrorist. Like just about everyone else who appears in this intricate tale from British journalist Stock (Dead Spy Running, 2010, etc.), the storyteller in the Marrakech marketplace is more than he appears to be. Besides regaling visitors, he passes on, in code, orders to Daniel Marchant, late of Britain's MI6, to head into the nearby mountains where Salim Dhar, who recently attempted to assassinate the president of the United States, may be hiding out. In the well-crafted set piece that follows, Marchant watches as six U.S. Marines are captured, but not before Dhar appears before them and is taken out. Or is he? Washington's National Security Agency, eager to annihilate Dhar--and score a coup over MI6--insists he was. But Marchant thinks Dhar lives on. A labyrinthine plot with an overriding theme of trust ensues. Sipping scotch back in Marrakech, Marchant meets CIA op Lakshmi Meena, who happens to mention the "'half-brother thing'" between Marchant and Dhar, something to which M16 operatives in Britain are keenly attuned. Fearing Dhar may be at the center of plans to launch a massive terrorist attack on London, the intelligence agency thinks Marchant's fraternal tie to Dhar may afford an approach to the terrorist. But some at M16 distrust Marchant's allegiances since his late father, who had been at MI6, was thought by some to be a covert Russian agent. Russia likewise questions Dhar's sympathies and wants him to prove his loyalty. It is left to the younger Marchant to reach Dhar and force his hand--or to reveal his own loyalties. Scattered clichés and a threadbare Mata Hari subplot aside, this one will please fans.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
A Daniel Marchant Series , #2
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.28(d)

Meet the Author

JON STOCK, a former Delhi correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph, writes a column for The Week magazine in India, and has contributed to BBC Radio 4. He is the author of Dead Spy Running as well as two previous novels. He lives in Wiltshire, UK.

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