This must be one of the best cold-war spy thrillers ever written. The ingenuity of the plot is splendid. The main premise – which is misinformation – is surrounded by two sub plots. One concerns the flushing out of a mole within the British secret services, and the other – survival against the odds out in the wilds of Iceland.
The story starts off with a killing at the hand of the hero, Alan Stewart, who then back-tracks to explain how he’s ended up in the situation. From virtually that moment on you’re riding a deadly roller-coaster around the island, exploring the scenery as you battle against good and bad, not knowing which is which or who you can trust.
The author’s fondness for Land Rovers comes to the fore again as Stewart lives in one, an extended wheelbase model, while on the run, and uses it to go where no-one sensible has gone before. (Note: this was written before the time when those friendly Icelanders made a national sport of 4×4 off-road racing!)
The British aren’t the only ones interested in what’s happening on Iceland, there are Americans and Russians too. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the Icelanders themselves, who aren’t happy that their homeland is being used in a deadly international game of chess.
In this story is a villain who appears in the next book, The Freedom Trap, which although not quite a follow-on, does use his presence to take off on another adventure. To find out who and why you’ll have to read the book!