Today I’m looking back at The Fallen Agent which was released in October 2017.
Jess Albion, ex MI5, was convicted of murder and sentenced to ten years imprisonment when an assignment went wrong. The father of the murdered man, Amir Bashar, an Albanian mafia boss, wanted revenge. He sent two assassins to the cell of the imprisoned woman. Only it was the wrong woman. The real Jess Albion had been spirited away to the other side of the world, under a new identity. Amir Bashar is angry, feeling the British justice system has let him and his son down, and is threatening a terror attack on London unless he’s told where Jess is. Jess’ colleagues take the decision to give her up as collateral damage.
Jess is just getting used to her new life in New Zealand when her past catches up with her in the form of Nick Dart. If Nick can find her, so can others who she’d be a lot less happy to see. And so begins a thrilling race against time and some extremely evil men.
Sitwell thanked the man and terminated the call. Then he made another.
‘Rufus? Is that you?’
‘How are you?’
‘I need to see you, Nick. Urgently.’
‘What about? I thought you were retired?’
‘I am. But there are things that even in retirement one can’t ignore. Responsibilities.’
‘Come and se me at my home.’
‘Are you going to give me some idea of what this is about?’
‘Not on the phone.’
Having never watched Spooks, an episode of which inspired the story, I went into the book with no preconceived ideas. Although the threat of, and actual, terror attacks on London are not unknown, the threat from Bashar would potentially affect the worldwide population. The plot is fast paced, with short, concise chapters moving the story forward, with lots of tension and suspense. Jess has been abandoned by certain of her colleagues and, apart from Nick, she can’t trust anyone. Even so, running for the rest of her life holds no appeal so between them, she and Nick decide to face, and hopefully defeat, those who threaten them whether they are enemies or so called friends.
A cast of well drawn, believable characters, good and bad, with a mixed, sometimes surprising reaction to one in particular when I did feel a some slight sympathy at times. Jess is tough, competent and spirited, a good match for her enemies. The Fallen Agent explores the darker side, not only of the secret services but also human nature. Bartering lives for information, racial discrimination, the desire for revenge and a cold disregard for the consequences.
Oliver Tidy has constructed an excellent, well thought through plot, and the opening hook had me intrigued from the start. The story line is exciting and suspenseful with unexpected twists and a shocking ending. Great start to a new series.
About the book
Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.
When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.
The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.