Published on: 02/05/2019
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…
‘Oliver Harris is always pure quality and I’m loving the hell out of his foray into the contemporary spy novel’ Ian Rankin
Oliver Harris was born in London in 1978. He has an MA in Shakespeare studies from UCL, and a PhD in psychoanalysis from Birkbeck. He is the author of the Nick Belsey series of crime novels, as well as one work of non-fiction: Lacan’s Return to Antiquity. He teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.