"When a British secret service operative turns up dead in a shoot-out at a London restaurant, the police initially suspect it was the result of a robbery gone bad, one with overtones of underworld drug gangs. But as the SIS investigates, it soon turns out that one of the corpses was a shadowy figure with multiple identities and probably ties to terror organizations around the world. To make matters worse, evidence of a cover-up emanating from somewhere deep within the British secret services soon emerges, making it clear to Peter Ashton and the
"When a British secret service operative turns up dead in a shoot-out at a London restaurant, the police initially suspect it was the result of a robbery gone bad, one with overtones of underworld drug gangs. But as the SIS investigates, it soon turns out that one of the corpses was a shadowy figure with multiple identities and probably ties to terror organizations around the world. To make matters worse, evidence of a cover-up emanating from somewhere deep within the British secret services soon emerges, making it clear to Peter Ashton and the SIS that something far more nefarious than a random shooting has taken place." As British Council offices in Pakistan and then Russia are attacked by suicide bombers, Ashton learns that a terrorist operation is underway. Now it's up to Ashton and his colleagues to discern the link between an apparently ordinary working lunch and a massive terrorist conspiracy. Following faint traces and nearly invisible clues, Ashton must first uncover and then disrupt the operation, and track down the two shadowy central figures that lurk at the heart of the conspiracy before their deadly plot comes to fruition.
Egleton's latest thriller (after 2004's Assassination Day) opens with a bloody massacre in a quiet Italian restaurant in a fashionable London neighborhood and takes off from there at full speed. The victims include a mid-rank British intelligence agent, a shady Egyptian businessman and a mysterious woman found dead in the men's room. SIS, where the dead agent was employed, at first thinks it was a drug deal gone bad, but the agency's often troublesome chief troubleshooter, Peter Ashton, soon links the murders to a leading terrorist, Talal Asir, coyly described as being "distantly related to the Saudi ruling family" and last seen in consultation with a top Syrian official in Damascus. Bombs begin to go off at British consulates, and only Ashton has all the necessary skills, insights and guts to unravel an international terrorist plot. Egleton, who shares Ashton's deep knowledge of the world of intelligence, must have great fun sitting in his home on the Isle of Wight and creating such a violent and dangerous world. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Another fine mess for the weathered warriors of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service to sort out. And if it's hard to tell friends from enemies, what else is new?Ah, those vicious SIS infighters, shivs up their well-cut sleeves. Good thing Peter Ashton (Assassination Day, 2004, etc.) is the wary sort, since success and a type-A personality have earned him the same kind of popularity that Caesar enjoyed after crossing the Rubicon. True, he does have his share of supporters, most notably the service's Director General. After a brief benching, Victor Hazelwood is the man again. So, considering how long and productive their mutual history has been, you'd think Ashton would feel comfortable about who was watching his back. But no, it seems to him that eager, go-for-broke Hazelwood, the famous "thruster," may have morphed into enigmatic, by-the-book Hazelwood. Will he be the reliable catcher he's always been when Ashton is out there without a net? Testing time is at hand. Gunmen kill four people in a swank London restaurant, one of them an SIS agent. Next, a British foreign officer and his wife are kidnapped from their home in Pakistan and brutally murdered on camera. Ashton recognizes the signs of a Jihadist operation in the making, with the fingerprints of two old enemies all over it. Suddenly, he sees a chance to take out both, a chance fraught with such risk that it's absolutely irresistible to him. If it works, Old Blighty will once again be in his debt. If it doesn't, a coterie of uncivil servants will swarm all over him, delivering those unkind cuts. As usual with Egleton, the plotting is on the cryptic side, but the characters are sharply drawn, and the bureaucratic back-bitingwill draw enough blood to satisfy expectant fans.
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.