This novel is at once an up-to-the-minute political novel about an emergent second Cold War, a timeless ripping espionage yarn and a continuation of the lives of characters who become richer with each appearance. It’s an impressive achievement and, as ever with Porter, told in an addictive blend of tangy dialogue and polished prose.
Ex-spook Paul Sansom is targeted by hoods in London and a retired British spy is murdered on an Estonian beach. Sansom’s trail leads to an elusive adversary from the past. Those not familiar with the previous books in this trilogy (Firefly and White Hot Silence) may take time to get up to speed with Porter’s large cast of characters. Sansom’s ability to evade countless assassins also asks favours of the reader but Porter skilfully tugs the taut threads of his global conspiracy towards a stirring climax in Congress.