‘The novel is an absorbing briefing on cyberwarfare as well as a masterclass in characterisation’ SUNDAY TIMES Thriller of the Month From the author of Harry’s Game – A Sunday Times ‘100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945’ pick There is a new cold war raging and its frontline warriors are Russian hackers – gang-members working freelance for the FSB, successor to the KGB. Massive thefts of personal information, electoral interference, catastrophic disruption of commercial and social services, banks, airlines, even whole countries disabled – this is happening now. Nicknamed ‘Boot’ because of his obsession with the Duke of Wellington and the battle of Waterloo, Edwin Coker is a case officer at the Vauxhall headquarters of MI6. When a young hacker falls into his hands and reveals details of a secret meeting, Boot conceives a daring plan to strike back – not with a computer virus of his own, but with a bomb that will seriously damage the Russian operation, spreading fear and distrust.
Now Boot and his little team need a ‘deniable’ handler to deliver the explosives across the border from Estonia into Russia and bring the hacker back out. They turn to Merc, an ex-soldier fighting in Iraq, a gun-for-hire who knows how to get out of a tight spot. They hope.
From the moment Merc sets out to cross the River Narva things do not go to plan and when the hacker’s sister becomes involved, his mission turns from tough to near impossible. The scene is set for a classic story of pursuit and evasion and an epic battle for survival.