Even in the era of glasnost, a defector is worth having, especially if he is a senior computer specialist in Russian military intelligence. But when the defection goes wrong, the British are left with three bodies and two inadequate clues to the nature of the information they might have been offered, and which now lies buried somewhere in the collective memories of David Audley and his one-time colleague Major Peter Richardson.
But what is the secret that Audley shares with the half-Italian Richardson, now frightened into hiding somewhere in Italy? For once, David Audley has no idea and the race is on to find the elusive Major. But Audley’s objective is fast being overtaken by modern political imperatives, ones very different from the black and white certainties of the old Cold War days.