But while the set-up is familiar, Mark Dawson has great fun with it. In this first novel in the series, John Milton, having quit “The Group” (think the Double O Section), becomes entangled in the life of a single mother in Hackney who’s terrified of losing her teenage son to a local gang. Can he turn the boy’s life around, or will The Group stop him in his tracks? It’s perhaps a little too on-the-nose that the operative sent after him is called Callan (remember the TV series Callan?), but this is a rollicking good read, and despite the antecedents Milton is a distinct and believable character.