Even in the era of glasnost, a defector is worth having, especially if he is a senior computer specialist in Russian military intelligence. But when the defection goes wrong, the British are left with three bodies and two inadequate clues to the nature of the information they might have been offered, and which now lies buried somewhere in the collective memories of David Audley and his one-time colleague Major Peter Richardson.
But what is the secret that Audley shares with the half-Italian Richardson, now frightened into hiding somewhere in Italy? For once, David Audley has no idea and the race is on to find the elusive Major. But Audley's objective is fast being overtaken by modern political imperatives, ones very different from the black and white certainties of the old Cold War days.
written in 1989, this is the last book.
Character development being more Price's style, we meet a much older David Audley who has been called back to Europe. With two of his protegee as subordinates he is sent to locate an ex R and D person who seems to hold some vital information.
"The Hour of the Donkey", introduces Audley's father and alludes to R and D during WW11. "A New Kind of War" brings David Audley into focus, at the end of WW11.
R&D is a little like a Think Tank that is placed above MI5 and MI6 and Special Branch.
However it is still the situation that the full story is not given to it's Field Workers. And David has to call on some old contacts as things go belly up.