On midsummer morning, 2006, the bodies of a man and woman were found on the banks of the River Thames in the English university city of Oxford. Both were naked and neatly covered in discarded blankets and other trash.
An autopsy showed that they had recently engaged in sex but failed to find the cause of death. The man was a research scientist at a defense laboratory and the woman was an interpreter at a government surveillance unit. The case was strikingly similar to others in which people involved in national defense died in strange sexual encounters.
Conspiracy theorists seized on the incident. Some claimed that Russian or Chinese agents were eliminating British defense personnel who posed a threat to them. Others believed they were executed, as traitors, by a mysterious group of vigilantes known as The Guardians. The incidents were immensely embarrassing for the British Government.
The present novel is a work of fiction. It was inspired by true events that occurred in Britain and Australia a generation ago.