When a set of Russian oligarchs are assassinated in London, the Russian expat community becomes anxious. One man appeals to the British government for protection and MI5 assigns Spider Shepherd to the case. But he soon discovers that the killings aren't political - they're personal, and the assassin is much nearer than anyone could conceive. And that's not the only score Spider must settle. Asked by a group of ex-colleagues to hunt down a former Taliban tyrant who has claimed UK asylum by assisting the British government, Spider is forced to decide between his sense of justice and his job. For as he struggles to save the life of one man, he's on a path to extinguish another.
village. After today, you will not see me again for a long time, if ever. The faranji – the British – have put a price on my head and I must cross the border to escape them.’ The headman took Khan’s hands in his, thanked him and said, ‘May you travel safely.’ ‘And may you not be tired,’ Khan said, returning the traditional greeting. Exactly at noon that day, there was the clatter of helicopter rotors overhead as a Blackhawk swooped in, bristling with guns and missiles, and hovered above the
information I need to do my job properly,’ said Shepherd. ‘Someone tried to kill your boss. We need to know if the attack was political, personal, or connected to his business.’ ‘Personal?’ ‘It’s not unknown for wives to see killing as an alternative to divorce,’ said Shepherd. Popov looked shocked, but then a smile spread slowly across his face. ‘Mrs Grechko? You think Mrs Grechko would want Mr Grechko dead?’ He shook his head. ‘He is the father of her children and he is very generous to
involved in the weapons of mass destruction nonsense. Are you telling me that MI5 didn’t top him and try to make it look like suicide? And that guy who fastened himself up in a kitbag in the bath?’ ‘Don’t tell me you’re one of those conspiracy theory nutters,’ said Shepherd. ‘I’m just saying, governments have people killed, it happens all the time. You know that the Libyans used to do it, and the Russians, right? And Saddam Hussein used to kill off his enemies all around the world.’ ‘We’re not
giving them a different definition of right and wrong.’ ‘And what about drugs?’ said Shepherd. Harper turned to look at him. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You’d tell your kids that drugs are a good thing, right?’ ‘I’d tell them what I believe, that drugs are no more dangerous than alcohol or cars.’ ‘Cars?’ ‘More people die in car accidents every year than they do from drug overdoses. Yet you don’t hear anyone saying we should ban cars. Alcohol causes way, way more damage than drugs. Yet you can buy
ammo?’ ‘It’s old, no argument there. Can’t guarantee it hasn’t gone off.’ He laughed. ‘No pun intended.’ ‘I can get ammo, no problem,’ said Harper. ‘For the AKs, too, if you want?’ ‘Just the pistols,’ said Shepherd. He gave the gun back to Shortt. ‘You might think of giving them a really good clean just in case there’s DNA anywhere.’ ‘I’ve cleaned them already,’ said Shortt. ‘The DNA tests they have these days are really sensitive,’ said Shepherd. ‘They can get a full profile from the merest