This latest in Egletons remarkable Peter Ashton series drops you into a patiently developing terrorist plot. The onion begins to peel when a prominent publisher is murdered by a pair of British Jihad sympathizers bent on retrieving the galleys of a memoir written by an allegedly long dead member of the SIS.
This book has been brought to England from America by an ambitious young beauty bent on distinguishing herself as more than the gifted daughter of a rich father. At the end it is her independent spirit that leads her to make a phone call that tips the balance in favor of the SIS and the ruin of the terrorists.
Egletons wonderfully described cast of agents/civil servants, high and low on the totem pole are drawn into the case as the vetting of the book through government contacts was one of the last acts of the murdered publisher. The world of intelligence gathering and covert action does not stand still and the redoubtable Victor Hazlewood, the Director, continues to have the good sense to back Peter Ashton and his number one Will Landon as they find time to deal with murder on the continent and terror links with Russia as well as the infiltration of Jihadi soldiers and the bomb maker on to home soil.
Peter Ashton is the nonpareil of espionage heros, a James Bond with children (and a beautiful, intelligent former-agent wife), a Quiller with the good sense to carry a weapon, a John Rain who can kill with his hands but does not make a fetish of it, a Smiley with the good looks to complement his charm, a Mitch Rapp with empathy and a willingness to practice office politics. Egleton's women are strong and individually drawn as are the entire cast down to Eric Daniels, a former Military Policeman, who is quietly known as the best wheelman in the service.
This report prepared by John Joyce
St. Martin's, Aug 2004, 24.95, 384 pp.
The Secret Intelligence Office (SIS) is quite incensed that deceased Captain Ross Frazer, apparently wrote an “autobiographical fictionalized” account of his memoirs as a political assassin. Questions surround this potentially embarrassing manuscript; was Frazer an SIS agent now dead and, if yes, why wasn't his manuscript turned into the Firm for classified review and what to about the not so veiled characterizations?
SIS Agent Will Landon investigates the book and Frazer, who died nine years ago when a truck ran him over. Meanwhile the London based literary agent working on the manuscript George Ventris is visited and threatened by two cops, Detective Constable Leach and Sergeant Nicholson. Not long afterward, Ventris is murdered and his copy of the Frazer novel stolen. In New York someone kills part-time literary agent and bookstore owner Amalie Cazelet, who sent the manuscript to Ventris. Realizing there is more to this case than a simple autobiography, SIS Assistant Director Peter Ashton enters the inquiries.
The latest Peter Ashton espionage thriller continues the post Soviet adventures with a terrific tale that is as much a police procedural as it is a spy story. The fabulous ASSASSINATION DAY is a bit different from its tremendous predecessors as Ashton plays more of a background support role for much of the novel. The story line contains the usual flawed heroes struggling to adapt in an ever changing world and red herrings that leave readers wondering (outside of Ashton and Landon) who is the good guys and who are the villains.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner