On the surface, the Stockholm archipelago in summer seems a serene and beautiful place. But as naive young British diplomat, Matt Simmonds, discovers, some alarming surprises can lurk just below that surface. At a time of increasing tension in the Baltic, Matt’s curiosity leads him into a complex web of conspiracies. He soon finds himself being played by conspirators in Moscow, Washington, Stockholm and even little Latvia. Matt tries to find out the truth behind reports of a mysterious and undetectable Russian submarine in the waters just outside Stockholm. If the reports are true, the revelations could spark conflict across the Baltic region. But as Matt discovers, there might be more than one undeclared submarine in those waters, and it seems that their various owners have very different agendas.
Not only does Matt have to find the truth about the submarine threats, he also has other challenges. He has to help his Ambassador save the British Embassy from threat of closure, compete with the devious French for an arms contract, and deal with increasingly strange demands from London. But most importantly for Matt, he wants to win the spirited Annika, while fending off the advances of the voluptuous Marcella. Who says diplomatic life is boring?
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Mayhem In The Archipelago
An enjoyable read. Books written by insiders often have an edge and being a retired ambassador, in this witty satire, Griffiths captures the political and broader back drop of goings-on in the Baltic, in a plot which is both fun and insightful. Having Russia as a neighbour is a constant concern, exacerbated by worries of submarines and the nervous plotting of conspirators, with a poke at the foibles of different nationalities scheming to bend events in their favour.
We follow Matt Simmonds as he is caught up in the middle of conflicting events, trying to tread the narrow path of not quite following Foreign Office guidelines, whilst being out of his depth and having to pull together seemingly unrelated threads of information to avoid sinking. He is equally out of his depth avoiding the affections of a glamorous colleague, whilst trying to attract the affections of the vivacious Annika.
The characters are well drawn, believable and engaging. The sharp comedic observations run nicely throughout, highlighting the essence of the story. Griffiths has a well honed ability to set both scene and mood, as the plot unfolds towards a thrilling ending, as some just deserts are dished out.