On a party Malcolm Jaggard meets Penny Ashton. He invites her to an evening in the theatre, and she accepts. And they start to see each other more and more; she invites him over to meet her father at about the time he was thinking about inviting her to meet his father. The first weekend on the country estate is a success, and they just repeat it the next weekend. Then someone throws acid into Penny's sister's face. This shocks their father more than anyone expected, and he simply disappears, together with Benson, the butler.
Now nothing is as it seems. Malcolm Jaggard has to reveal to the policeman leading the inquiry into the acid-attack that he is working for an agency for economical counterespionage, a fact his fiancée Penny is not aware of. In the agency's computer he discovers the existence of a file about Penny's father, George Ashton, and his butler, but that of the butler disappears. George Ashton's file reveals his original identity, which is Russian, a fact his daughters are not aware of either.
Malcolm alerts his superior about the disappearance of a computerfile and an entire team starts to reconstruct what happened. When a nutter is caught for throwing the acid, without any ties to anything or anyone, Ashton's panicking disappearance -and appearance in Stockholm- makes even less sense. Somebody somewhere is trying to keep something covered...
Jaggard may be some kind of a spy, this has more of a detective novel than it looks like a James Bond story. No gadgets, no flegmatic gentlemen-spies, no fancy cars, no astonishing beauties. Just average people, credible average people. And a credible story, a story that is compelling enough to have kept me reading far longer than I usually do. Great story, well told, excellent pace, and it even has some to make you think a little about yourself..
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