An Agent of Deceit
Chris Morgan Jones
Ten years ago, journalist Ben Webster had his investigation into a corrupt Russian business in Kazakhstan crushed, the cost of his scrutiny a terrible tragedy . . .
Now employed by a private London intelligence agency, Webster's interest is piqued when a client asks him to expose the dealings of shadowy Russian oligarch Konstantin Malin. Before long Webster finds himself fixated by Malin and by his front man Richard Lock. But how far is he willing to risk the wellbeing of his family? And that of Lock himself?
Meanwhile Lock finds himself under pressure to explain to the world how he - a simple lawyer - came to be one of Russia's largest investors. And when one of Malin's former protégées is found dead after meeting with Webster, Lock begins to realise that he too may be at risk. Desperate to seek a haven with the wife he lost years before, Lock realises that he must now take action - but his options are fast running out . . .
Against a background of Moscow, London and Berlin a journey of impossible decisions begins . . .
‘The best debut spy adventure I’ve read in a long time. The two main characters — a British investigator with a private intelligence agency and the key manipulator of a corrupt Russian oligarch’s finances — are vigorously portrayed, with satisfying twists and intrigues’ The Times
‘Chris Morgan Jones's debut arrives with a weight of expectations on its shoulders. But it's clear right from the chilling, detached opening that these are going to be met . . . Like the icy eastern winter that seeps through the pages of his novel, Morgan Jones's prose is clean and cold, crisp and ominous . . . this is a world Morgan Jones knows, and it shows. In its intelligence, its crispness, its refusal to recognise anything other than shades of grey, there are undoubtedly resonances of Le Carré here. But An Agent of Deceit is too good to need the publishing shorthand for "classy thriller": this is a debut that definitely stands on its own merits’ Observer
‘So-called "new Le Carrés" are 10 a penny, but Morgan Jones has a better claim to the title than most, having worked for 11 years at the world's largest business intelligence agency. On one level this intelligent, sophisticated spy thriller is about money laundering. But it's also about the willed innocence that makes such activities possible – the difference between not knowing and choosing not to know . . . dapper prose and stately pacing . . . Genuinely scary’ Guardian