Winnie Monks has never forgotten - or forgiven - the death of a young agent on her team at the hands of a former Russian Army Major turned gangster. Now, years later, she hears the Major is travelling to a villa on the Costa del Sol and she asks permission to send in a surveillance unit.
They find an empty property near the Major's. The Villa Paraiso. It's perfect to spy from - and as a base for Winnie's darker, less official, plans.
But it turns out that the property isn't deserted. The owners have invited a young British couple to 'house sit' while they are away.
For Jonno and Posie, just embarking on a relationship, this is supposed to be a carefree break in the sun. But when the Secret Service team arrives in paradise, everything changes.
MI5's Winnie Monks, the protagonist of this joyless, repetitive thriller from Seymour (The Dealer and the Dead), reassembles her scattered Graveyard Team of organized crime investigators to avenge the murder of young agent Damian Fenby five years earlier in Budapest. An unexpected break finally identifies the killer as veteran Russian crime boss Petar Alexander Borsonov, and when Monks learns he is going to visit the home of fellow Russian Pavel Ivanov on Spain's Costa del Sol, she sets in motion a plan to take Borsonov down. Complications abound: Monk's advance team finds house-sitting young Brits in the supposedly empty house next door that other team members intended to use, an aging British con man gets involved with Ivanov, and Monk's chosen sniper suffers from debilitating PTSD. Seymour takes his time developing the major players with small, seemingly inconsequential incidents morphing into major developments. In the end, fickle fate holds the winning cards.
Classic Seymour, gripped from cover to cover, totally enthralling read, top notch.
One of Seymour's best since "Holding the zero"