The Russians are the bad guys once again in this spy-vs.-spy thriller.
Dunn comes with a pedigree of three previous Spycatcher novels (Slingshot, 2013, etc.) and a career in the British intelligence service MI6, and this new book exploits both experiences. Will Cochrane, perhaps the most caring, sensitive spy ever written, is on sniper duty in Norway, loathing this particular assignment as beneath his training and capabilities. But as things go wrong and Ellie Hallowes, the spook he's covering, is attacked by a gang of Russian thugs, he ignores orders to abort the mission, killing the Russian crew to save Ellie's life and triggering an international CIA manhunt for him. Why he did it, of course, is the tale. It's a chess game of egos: CIA, MI6, FBI, Russian SVR across Norway, Greenland, Canada and Washington D.C. Antaeus, the Russian spymaster, is pulling strings on a wide net of killers and traitors. He wants revenge against Will, who planted the car bomb that killed his family and disfigured him, but his motive is pure Cold War déjà vu—“to cause a major catastrophe and derail the United States.” As Will runs, he uncovers "Operation Ferryman," a labyrinth of moles and counterspies set by the CIA to use Russian intelligence to assassinate Cobalt, a financier who's funded much of the world’s terrorist activities, and the final trail leads to a Russian mole within the CIA itself. Just when you think you have this maze of double-dealing figured out—surprise, it isn’t what you think.
All the elements of a classic espionage story are here. The novel moves with relentless momentum, scattering bodies in its wake.