This is pretty much exactly what it looks like: we open with a covert rescue operation by the SAS which goes a bit wrong. Well, disastrously wrong. John Porter, scarred (literally and mentally) by the fiasco, takes to the bottle and the London streets. When a television darling is kidnapped in Beirut 20 years later, he finds an opportunity to get back into SAS life.
What I particularly enjoyed about Ryan's writing (and from that cover, would you guess that Chris Ryan is a woman?) when I churned through The Kremlin Device and The Watchman back in November is the no-nonsense style, mixed with a dark British sense of humour. There is plenty of weapons and fighting chat, but not so much that it becomes tedious. Daring rescues go wrong. The clichéd sexual encounter between the gnarled hero in less than perfect physical shape and the lissome blonde (a nurse, this time) is amusingly shown to be staged. The hero tries hard to turn his life around on the spot, but is really struggling with his need for booze.
Hopefully it won't be too long before I get a chance to sit down and finish this off!