Place: Great Britain
Thrillers or detective novels are best when it comes to train journeys; especially if you are in an Express or Superfast which goes slower than a Passenger and is held down in different stations for reasons I know not what. It is on one such journey that I came upon this novel -- a random search in the library revealed the worn out book in the corner and it looked like a good one too for the three hour ride home.
I never got a chance to read any more of Forsyth, but thanks to this absorbing tale, much fretting is avoided, though the train was late by one hour. Isn't that what great about books? For Keats escape may be through imagination, for Coleridge the opium, but to some others like me its books.
Now about the story; its a gripping action thriller interspersed with many flashbacks (which is the most interesting part) and as usual of the books of the period reflects the cold war in its extremities, ie., the good American saving the world from the evil Russians. Its a relief that now the place of Russians is taken by aliens and wizards or sometimes vampires and Greek Gods.
Now Monk is approached by Sir Nigel Irvine, the former chief of British Secret Intelligence. He has worked in Russia before with four agents who is later murdered by Colonel Grishin as their identities are leaked from headquarters. Though he finds out the betrayer, CIA throws him out in humiliation. Now is his chance to strike back.