He had been to the limit. Then they sent him further.
Gary - 'Gaz' - Baldwin is a watcher, not a killer. Operating with a special forces unit deep in Syria, he is to sit in a hide, observe a village, report back and leave.
Before long, he is living as a handyman on the Orkney islands, far from Syria, far from the army, not far enough from the memories that have all but destroyed him.
'Knacker' is one of the last old-school operators at the modern MI6 fortress on the Thames. He presides over the Round Table, a little group who meet in a pub and yearn for simpler, less bureaucratic times.
When news reaches Knacker that the Russian officer responsible for the Syrian incident may be in Murmansk, northern Russia, he sets in motion a plan to kill him. It will involve a sleeper cell, a marksman and other resources - all unlikely to be sanctioned by the MI6 top brass, so it must be done off the books.
But first, he will need a sure identification. And for that, he needs a watcher...
Reviews, News & Interviews:
Depicts the desperate world of an agent adrift behind enemy lines as few others can. The Times
Highly enjoyable. Guardian
A novel displaying all the author's many strengths, from his John le Carré-like ability to portray the intelligence world from top to bottom, to its line up of memorable supporting characters. The Sunday Times
The plot is well engineered, the insider detail precise, the tension ratcheted up turn by turn. Financial Times