IS THERE a protocol for killing a fellow intelligence agent? Apparently there is. To end the career of another professional in an honourable fashion it is necessary to take the unused gun from the holster of the man you have shot.

Then you place it in his right hand and insert the index finger in the trigger guard. A shot must be discharged to give the impression that the dead man went down fighting.

Sometimes though the rules need to be broken and visible humiliation of your opponent is called for, which is how this express train of a novel opens.

The anonymous narrator has performed such face-saving operations before for various Iranians, Ukrainians and even a Frenchman but the man he has just killed is from Royal Naval Intelligence and he decides to pay his victim the insult of looking as if he stood no chance.

This is the second outing for David Trevellyan, whom we met in Grant’s kinetic debut novel Even. In that book the English agent is arrested in New York and framed for a murder. It was a humdinger of a thriller. Has Grant managed to pull off the trick again?

While he has a distance to go before rivalling his mega-selling brother Lee Child, Grant has all the necessary smarts to make a mark in the field of the tough, American thriller.

His particular skill, no easy feat, is to marry the visceral excitement of a fast-moving Ian Fleming-style narrative with the detailed trade craft of the John le Carré school.

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