A BRILLIANT NEW ESPIONAGE THRILLER FOR FANS OF JOHN LE CARRE
The intelligence service puts two years and over £100k into the training of new field officers. You're shown how to steal cars, strip weapons, hack bank accounts. There are courses on the use of blackmail and improvised explosives, two workshops solely dedicated to navigating by the stars. But nothing about what I had heard one old spy call whiplash. No one tells you how to go home.
There is a dark side to MI6 that needs men like Elliot Kane - mercurial, inquisitive, free floating. He's spent fifteen years managing events overseas that never make the papers, deniable and deeply effective. Kane is a ghost in his own life, picking up and dropping personalities as each new cover story comes into play. But when a woman he loves, Joanna Lake, vanishes without a trace in Kazakhstan, he is forced centre stage.
Drawn ever deeper into a realm of deception, Kane moves from merely infiltrating events to steering them. He's used to a new mode of hybrid psychological warfare - but snowbound Kazakhstan presents unique challenges. Poised between China, Russia and the West, dictatorship and democracy, state intelligence and an increasingly powerful world of private agencies, it's impossible to work out who is manipulating who. And Kane's not the only one trying to figure out where Joanna Lake has gone or what she learned before disappearing.
Unable to trust anyone, hunted by his own colleagues, and with the life of someone he loves at stake, Kane needs to work out who is driving events, and why...
This dark, convoluted spy thriller from Harris (the Nick Belsey detective series) takes MI6 operative Elliot Kane, who has spent most of his career in the Middle East running missions that rarely appear on the public radar, to the sprawling former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, where agent Joanna Lake, a colleague and lover, has gone missing. What he believes will be a simple search in the capitol city of Astana quickly disintegrates into a messy endeavor involving oil companies, private security firms, corrupt politics, and psychological warfare. His undercover quest forces Kane, who's schooled in personal deception and secrecy, to reveal what he values most: his identity as an MI6 agent. Stunning bursts of violence, restrained glimpses into the world of spycraft, and lean, savvy dialogue, however, are all too often lost amid complex plot twists and an ever-increasing cast. A deflating ending doesn't help. Still, Harris shows enough potential to suggest he can more than hold his own in the espionage genre.