Release Date: 13/10/11
1947. Threadbare London endures the bleakest, coldest winter for decades. Food rationing is worse than during the war. Coal supplies run out. The Thames freezes over.
Against a background of black ice, blackouts and the black market, agent Peter Cotton is seconded to Operation Sea-snake. MI5 is in the grip of civil war; MI6 is riddled with traitors. Unsure who to trust - or even who is pulling the strings - Cotton, ever the outsider, must protect an atomic scientist caught up in a vicious homophobic witch-hunt, limit the damage caused by a bully-boy MP, rely on a rent-boy informer and, despite the murderous attentions of a couple of Glasgow razor boys, embark on a ruthless hunt of his own.
In all honesty, this title is a different type of book, it’s got all the hallmarks of a thriller with dodgy underhand dealings, political manipulations as well as a labyrinth of twists and turns which leave you wondering if it’s a painting by MC Escher but for me, it’s the characters that brings this title set during the late Forties to life.
The pace is stunning, the prose equally deceptive but when you add Aly’s writing style to the mix, it becomes something that I think will set the standard for future releases from other authors as she walk’s the path of established Spy Thrillers, not just with reckless abandon but with her own sure footed comprehension as to what the modern reader wants. Definitely an author to watch and one that I know a few people who are going to enjoy spending time with.