Television audiences around the world witness in horror the Moscow assassination attempt upon the American and Russian presidents. The captured gunman is revealed to be the son of one of Britain's most infamous nuclear defectors, which brings the shuffling, believe-nothing Charlie Muffin into the investigation.
Within hours, the death of the Russian leader and the diagnosis that the American's president's wife will be maimed brings the pressure on the combined American, Russian and British investigators to a melting point. Only Charlie Muffin refuses to accept the defector's son was the sole shooter and he doesn't endear himself to anyone--including ex-KGB debriefer Natalia Fedova and mother of Muffin's daughter-and must risk his life and his love to prove his case.
From the corridors of power in Russia to the offices of MI5, Charlie must once again challenge higher authorities to bring justice to all. In perhaps his most intense thriller to date, Brian Freemantle once again uses his unique understanding of international espionage and intrigue to remarkable results.
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Brian Freemantle is the author of over 30 books, which have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. He lives in England.
Often compared with John le Carre, espionage veteran Freemantle brings back colorful MI6 operative Charles Muffin, the urbane, cerebral spy last spotted in Dead Men Living. Charlie is assigned to the British embassy in Moscow and secretly reunited with his on-again, off-again lover, Natalia Fedova-a former KGB agent, now with the Interior Ministry-and their five-year-old daughter, Sasha. Not long after, the entire civilized world witnesses, on live satellite TV, a botched assassination attempt on both the Russian and American presidents in Moscow. The sniper mortally wounds the Russian leader, but the First Lady takes a bullet for the leader of the free world. Charlie, much to his chagrin, is called in to investigate when the gunman turns out to be the son of a British atomic physicist who defected to Russia nearly 30 years before. As he plumbs the murky secret files of the KGB, he's plagued by the bureaucratic ineptitude of the Americans and by veiled resistance from the Russians. Natalia tries to help, but Charlie can't quite bring himself to trust her. A power struggle in the Russian hierarchy and shady American campaign finances become the focus of the thin, unconvincing plot, which introduces too many colorless characters with forgettable names on both sides. Freemantle's witty, clipped style is a pleasure as always, and the scenes dealing with the assassination attempt are suspenseful, but those who stay the course will wonder if it was worth making the effort.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Thomas Dunne Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0312304129
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