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SIS officer Luke Carlton returns in the explosive, action-packed and unerringly authentic new thriller from the author of the acclaimed No.1 bestseller, Crisis - BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.

SIS agent Luke Carlton returns in the explosive, action-packed and unerringly authentic new thriller from BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner, author of the acclaimed No.1 bestseller Crisis . . .
Deep within a cave system at the Iranian military complex of Parchin, south-east of Tehran, and hidden from the prying eyes of Western satellites, scientists are working round-the-clock on a banned device. Acting on the orders of a renegade cell within the ultra-conservative Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, their intention is to propel Iran into the elite club of nuclear-armed nations – and seal its domination of the Middle East.

Britain’s intelligence agencies know something is up – they have a mole inside the programme. Ready to hand over the information, he must first get out of Iran. Crossing the mountainous border into Armenia, he was due to rendezvous with MI6 agent Luke Carlton at a remote, snowbound monastery. But the mission goes bloodily wrong and Carlton has to be extracted. And fast.

On the back foot after that fiasco, MI6 is suddenly presented with an opportunity – to recruit an individual with unique access to the leader of the IRGC hardliners. And Luke is chosen to reel them in. Going into Iran undercover is dangerous enough, but the real nightmare begins when a senior British government minister on an official visit is kidnapped, his close protection officer killed and Britain is presented with a terrifying ultimatum. And as the only agent inside Iran, it falls to Luke Carlton to head off what could lead to a catastrophic confrontation in the Gulf . . . and the clock is ticking.

Reviews

‘Confirms Frank Gardner’s place among the pantheon of distinguished reporters who have become excellent thriller writers, including Gerald Seymour and Frederick Forsyth . . . utterly authentic . . . it grips like a python from the first page, squeezing the breath out of the reader.’

DAILY MAIL

A terrifying and topical novel . . . Gardner's style is addictive . . . [his] riveting plot really does illuminate both the past and today's headlines. It would be a spoiler to reveal the shocking climax, but there is a hint of more to come: roll on novel three.

Marina Vaizey, THE ARTS DESK

It’s no surprise that a BBC correspondent should write knowledgeably, but this action-packed thriller has a rare authority and authenticity.

LITERARY REVIEW

Crisis, the debut two years ago by the BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, was much admired, and the second in his Luke Carlton series is even better . . . its themes of Iranian bomb production and divisions in the country’s elite have great topicality.

John Dugdale, SUNDAY TIMES 'Thriller of the Month'

Frank Gardner’s second thriller is even closer than his first, Crisis, to dealing with the world’s most immediate fears . . . current international events do not necessarily turn into exciting novels, but Gardner skilfully mixes knowledge garnered as the BBC’s security correspondent with breathless action.

Marcel Berlins, THE TIMES

Gardner . . . tells the story with a verve and expertise born of long experience of the subject . . . convincingly authentic. It is the thriller writer's trick to blur the boundary between current affairs and invention, to make the unthinkable thinkable and exciting. In this, Gardner succeeds triumphantly.

COUNTRY AND TOWN HOUSE MAGAZINE

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780593075821

    June 18, 2018

    Bantam Press

    400 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780593075814

    June 15, 2018

    Bantam Press

    400 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473526457

    May 31, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Extract

Prologue

Salaam, Ali-jaan. It’s me.’ The voice, thick, gravelly and unmistakable, came over the encrypted line as tinny and distant. ‘So. It’s all in place?’

‘It’s all in place.’

‘No changes?’

Ali didn’t answer straight away. He removed his earpiece, tipped his head back, closed his eyes and wiped the palm of his hand over the stubble that covered half of his face. Still in his thirties, but already the coarse hairs that crept up his cheek were grey. He sighed. How many times had they been over this, he and the man at the other end of the line, whose name could never be mentioned? He replaced the earpiece and spoke into the mike. ‘No,’ he replied patiently, ‘there are no changes. Everything is exactly as we discussed.’

‘Good. Because you know—’

‘Yes, yes, I know. So much is riding on this.’

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