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3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Introducing Max Ward, a modern spy in a dangerous world.

Know your enemy...Spared certain expulsion by a faceless puppet-master, MI6 spook Max Ward is happy riding an analyst's desk at the British Embassy in The Hague and seeing his married lover whenever their schedules allow.

Then, out of nowhere, the favour is called in. The same puppeteer finally breaks cover. He's been watching Max since before he was recruited and now he wants him to face down an enemy Max knows only too well.

An enemy both of them have good reason to pursue, and even better reason to leave well alone.

Max's carefully-ordered world is turned upside down as a mission with no escape routes forces him to confront everything he's forgotten and everyone he's betrayed.

A mission that will finally force him to make a deal with the devil himself.

Max Ward is a modern spy in a dangerous world. A world where counter intelligence, drug cartels and global terrorism intersect.

A world where the beauty of an Old Master painting hides a deadly game of deal, double cross and revenge.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780007431120



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Charlie brooks has probably been better known recently as the husband of News International femme fatale Rebekah. However, he is clearly a more than competent writer in his own right.This is an intriguing spy novel though I did feel that Brooks seemed to go out of his way to add unnecessary discontinuity by introducing brief flashbacks that do little to advance the plot. Brooks' protagonist, Max Ward, is certainly a likeable character, even if his story is different from most of his readers (expelled from Eton, barred from most of the leading casinos throughout Europe and with a liking for wine in the £700 per bottle bracket), and one is rooting for him from the start..The novel moves around Europe as Ward struggles to unmask an MI6 colleague who has certainly strayed from the paths of righteousness, and we meet a fascinating cast of art forgers, Russian mafia oligarchs and enforcers, whip-wielding prostitutes and Oxbridge dons. The one slight failing was that Brooks failed to impart any sense of urgency to the novel.