Somewhere in the Indian ocean a coup d'etat threatens a country to which Britain has treaty obligations. The Foreign Secretary has been killed in an aircrash: rather than remodel his government on the eve of an election the Prime Minister has promoted a senior and much respected backbencher. A rising TV commentator, feeling that he is not rising fast enough, sees, and takes, his chance. An old love affair catches alight and forgotten jealousies flare into life again. All these elements are suddenly brought together by a chance encounter into a fast-moving narrative that will keep the reader wholly absorbed yet half unaware that he is reading fiction.