Helsinki, December 1999. Nick Stone, ex-SAS, now a 'K' working for British Intelligence on deniable operations, is tough, resourceful, ruthless, highly trained - and desperately in need of cash...Offered the lucrative freelance job of kidnapping a mafia warlord and delivering him to St Petersburg, it seems to Stone that his problems are over. In fact, they are only just beginning. Stone enters the bleak underworld of the former Soviet republic of Estonia, where unknown aggressors stalk the bitter landscape, and he soon finds himself caught between implacable enemies. For Russia has embarked upon a concerted cyber-espionage offensive, hacking into some of the West's most sensitive military secrets. American and British intelligence agencies are determined to thwart them. And the mafia are waiting in the wings with their own chillingly brutal solution...
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In his third outing (following Remote Control and Crisis Four), Nick Stone, Andy McNab's series SAS agent, is off the Firm's regular payroll owing to a major screwup in his last assignment that left his best friend's family slaughtered--except for the one child who survived. Little Kelly needs expensive treatment for the post-traumatic stress that's turned her nearly catatonic, so Nick takes on a freelance assignment that gets him mixed up with Russian organized crime--in particular, with an enigmatic mob boss who has designs on some Finnish cybertechnology. When Nick realizes it's not industrial espionage that he's involved with but military secrets, he's caught between warring factions of the Russian Mafia and the Anglo-American alliance of intelligence agencies. The Westerners will do anything to keep the Echelon program out of the hands of Valentin Lebed--the Chechnyan Mafioso who makes Nick an offer he can't refuse--and the Maliskia, a gang of rival Russian criminals who want to derail Lebed's plans and take over Echelon themselves.
The action ranges from Helsinki to St. Petersburg to London, the weaponry is fully detailed, and the techniques of infiltration and retrieval carefully outlined; McNab, a former SAS commando who, according to the author's note "is still wanted by a number of terrorist organizations and is therefore forbidden to reveal his face or current location," obviously remembers every ache, pain, bruise, and injury he suffered in his life of derring-do, since they're all completely and graphically described here, too. --Jane AdamsFrom the Inside Flap:
The hair-raising follow-up to Remote Control and Crisis Four by former SAS member Andy McNab.
If he hadn't needed the cash so badly, Nick Stone would never have messed with the Russian mafia. The job seemed simple enough for a man of his particular talents: kidnap a heartless, money-laundering mob boss from his fortified Helsinki hotel room and deliver him to St. Petersburg. But as the plan begins to unfold, Stone soon realizes that by no means has he been told the whole story.
Catapulted into the bleak underworld of the former Soviet republic of Estonia, where unknown aggressors stalk the Arctic landscape, Stone finds that the mob may now turn out to be the least of his problems. Russia has embarked on a new Cold War offensive -- hacking into the West's computer systems and stealing their most coveted military secrets. As one bloody double-cross leads to another, Stone finds himself caught between the suicidal schemes of the British and American intelligence agencies and the ruthless Russians who want to silence him.
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