Set in Moscow during the 1980s, Major Tom Fox, a British Army intelligence officer, finds himself knee-deep in a complicated search for the ambassador’s step-daughter.
A teenage boy’s body is mysteriously found frozen stiff near Red Square. Upon further examination, investigators realize the boy is missing a finger. A strange detail that seems minor at the time, but becomes rather important later on.
On Christmas Eve, Fox is mingling in the British Embassy when he meets Alex Masterson, the ambassador’s fifteen-year-old step-daughter. A week later, she goes missing out of thin air–creating a serious, and potentially dangerous, incident. Her step-father, Sir Edward, has reasons for not wanting to involve the Soviets in the search for the girl, leaving the bulk of the load to Fox.
Stationed in Moscow to regroup and find himself after losing his own young daughter, Fox’s personal life is a mess. His marriage is hanging on by a thread, which is fraying and splitting further with each passing minute, and Fox has turned to the bottle, where he tries to drown his sorrows on a too-frequent basis. But what really haunts Fox is some horrible advice he gave Alex that, while joking, was totally uncalled for.
While it’s his job to help find Alex, the case becomes especially personal for Fox, who tries to deal with his own heartache and past demons by locating Alex before something happens to her. But as he searches for the girl, a much larger and sinister plot soon reveals itself, and Fox quickly finds himself sucked into a dark and violent world that threatens more than just the ambassador’s step-daughter.
Grimwood is a solid writer, and Fox, while slightly underdeveloped, is a compelling lead character. Behind the main plot, which is front and center driving the story forward, Grimwood weaves in a few details about Fox’s daughter, Becca, creating doubt about the circumstances of her death. That adds to the exceptionally well-plotted and very complex plot, which reads like the offspring of a crime novel and spy thriller.
Author: Jack Grimwood
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10