In this bold novel, Jason Elliot illuminates the dark recesses of the intelligence community during a crucial moment in history: the struggle to avoid a terrorist attack.
In the months before 9/11, former army officer Anthony Taverner is leading a quiet life in the English countryside. But his recruitment for a dangerous mission to Afghanistan by the British Secret Intelligence Service—better known as MI6—shatters his fragile peace and plunges him into the kaleidoscopic world of spying. Under the expert guidance of an old-school hero and veteran of the elite British Special Air Service, Taverner prepares to enter Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to destroy a cache of the CIA's precious Stinger missiles before they can fall into the hands of al-Qaeda. In Britain and America, the intelligence community is poised for a catastrophe that must be kept secret from the public, one that Taverner must attempt to avert—all without exposing a dangerous secret all his own.
Based on real characters and drawing on the author's extensive firsthand knowledge of Afghanistan, this is a thriller of rare authenticity, providing sustained insight into influences surrounding 9/11 and raising questions about the role of intelligence agencies in historical events deliberately hidden from the public eye.