Kasym brings the long-bladed knife up so Chloe can see the orange glow of the passing streetlamps reflected in the polished steel. The move works. It usually does. She becomes completely still. Sarah, Chloe's mother, stares open-mouthed at the blade. It has a very narrow tip and glints viciously along its stone-whetted edge.
So begins the kidnapping that plunges Gabriel Wolfe into a search and rescue mission in the Baltic state of Estonia. But there is more at stake than the lives of two British tourists. Someone is tinkering with a performance-enhancing drug designed to help British fighter pilots exploit the potential of the Typhoon fighter.
Caught between Russian mafia bosses and Chechen terrorists, Gabriel has to find the hostages before the crowds at the Farnborough Airshow witness a jet fighter flown into the ground at 900 mph by its hallucinating pilot.
The mission calls for street-fighting skills, military strategy and a stint undercover as a doorman for Jonny Rocketz, a sleazy bar in Talinn's red light district. Gabriel is up for the challenge, but he's still carrying guilt for leaving a comrade's body behind in his last, disastrous mission for the SAS. Will it overwhelm him just when he needs to be at his most focused?
This is the second full-length outing for Gabriel Wolfe, former SAS soldier and freelance security consultant. If you like your action heroes to have an intriguing back story alongside their military chops, he's the man for you.