Somewhere in Russia is a man so powerful that no one even knows his name. Yet though he is all but invisible, he is pulling strings - and pulling them hard. For suddenly Russia is a far bigger threat than even the most devoted Cold War warriors ever thought possible. With her finger on the switch to the European economy and her sights on the American jugular, Russia gains a new leader. Not just a president, he has been appointed Tsar, a signal to the world that the old imperial power is back - and plans to have her day.
At the same time, a mysterious killer brutally murders an innocent American family, literally blowing up the small midwestern town in which they lived. Just a taste, according to the new Tsar, of what will happen if America does not step aside in preventing Russia's plans to 'reintegrate' her rogue states.
Onto this nightmarish stage steps special agent extraordinaire Alex Hawke, the only man - both the British and Americans agree - who can stop the madness.
In bestseller Bell's rousing fifth thriller (after Spy), Alex Hawke fights the leaders of a new and invigorated Russia, where Vladimir Putin has been locked up in a lethal prison built over a massive radioactive waste site. Evil mastermind Count Ivan Korsakov (aka the Dark Rider) is determined to return Mother Russia to her rightful place in the world order by reacquiring her former colonies, after which he intends to conquer Europe and reign as the new tsar. The only thing standing in his way is Hawke, who, as series fans well know, is more than up to the task of thwarting those who try to take over the globe. Life throws Hawke a curve when he finds himself falling in love with the astoundingly beautiful Anastasia, who just happens to be Korsakov's daughter. As always, Bell pulls out all the stops with terrific action scenes, fiendish murders, diabolical villains, dramatic rescues and all the cool weaponry the reader could possibly hope for.