cover image Secret Service

Secret Service

Tom Bradby. Atlantic Monthly, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4803-2

Senior MI6 officer Kate Henderson, the heroine of this tense spy thriller from Bradby (The White Russian), receives information from a trusted source that Russia’s three top foreign intelligence chiefs will meet in Istanbul on the super-yacht of a billionaire Russian oligarch. Surveillance of the meeting reveals the impending resignation of the U.K. prime minister and the possibility of a mole, code-named Viper, within the Secret Intelligence Service. The investigation threatens to implicate a number of high-ranking British government officials, including Kate’s boss, Ian Granger, and education secretary Imogen Conrad, Kate’s husband’s boss. Or is it misinformation planted by Kate’s source to frame her as the counterspy? The author reveals a rarely seen facet of secret agents: the domestic side. Not a clichéd Jane Bond, Kate is a mother to two teenagers, daughter to a spiteful mother sliding into dementia, and wife to a civil servant who may be working for a traitor. Ops go sideways, betrayals abound, and good people die. Bradby keeps the reader guessing to the last. Fans of cerebral spycraft in the vein of le Carré will enjoy this outing. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)