Charles Thoroughgood is appointed Head of MI5. Things are in a chaotic state inside Whitehall and elsewhere, with interruptions to power causing lights and kettles not to work but, of course, having other more serious effects on electronic systems. The problems need to be dealt with without the general public becoming aware of the parlous state of affairs. Charles has been the subject of previous books by Alan Judd tracing his initial entry to M16 in the early 1980s and his training then his involvement in serious spying events. It is not necessary to have read the previous books to appreciate this one though the surprise element of the earlier books could be blunted.
Charles soon realises that the past can explain what is happening but others are reluctant to accept his theory. His new wife, Sarah, becomes embroiled in what is going on through her career as a high powered lawyer. As Charles starts to find the threads of the conspiracy Sarah is carried to the centre of events. Charles has to act quickly and decisively outside the official parameters if he is to save Sarah's life and his own.
Despite the focus on Charles and Sarah many other memorable characters participate in the story. In fact the interaction of the Westminster politicians and administrators adds considerably to the depth of the tale.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Alan Judd has published 3 previous books on Charles beginning with A Breed of Heroes. He has also produced several stand alone books with diplomatic settings and nonfiction such as Quest for C on the life of Mansfield Cumming founder of the British Secret Intelligence Service.
He is also the author of two accomplished biographies: Ford Madox Ford, which won the Heinemann Award, and The Quest For C, the authorised biography of Mansfield Cumming, founder of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).