A covert counter-terror operation is mounted on the Rock of Gibraltar. Our boys on land, the American mercenaries by sea. This one is right off the books. Kit Probyn, upstanding Foreign Office veteran with no previous experience of the dark arts, is to be the Minister’s eyes and ears on the ground. His “red telephone”. Toby Bell, rising Foreign Office star and the Minister’s Personal Private Secretary, has been kept out of the loop. Why? Whispers of private armies, bounty, dicey intelligence, corporate wars.

Three years on, a disgraced Special Forces Soldier delivers a message from the dead and the worlds of Toby Bell and Kit Probyn collide. If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, at what point do these two good men become guilty bystanders?