Want a book set in 2004 where Britain's top intelligence team seem to have only one mobile phone between them and haven't yet heard of SatNav? Check.
Want a book where the baddies are a bizarre cabal - who go around seemingly calling them The Cabal and who call their chief planner the...wait for it....Planner - made up of three brothers who also happen to be junior government ministers with the congenital inability to close a door properly that another reviewer has mentioned? Check.
Want a book where the aforementioned lo-fi spooks manage to have a private war with these government ministers, which includes blowing up a bus-load of Slovaks outside Aix-en-Provence and destroying a prison in a village in darkest Dorset - where the residents are straight out of Central Ooh Arr Casting - without two governments noticing? Check.
Forbes has written some cracking yarns - Leader and the Damned, Year of the Golden Ape, some of the early Newman/Tweed stories. But this story is just plain silly. Barking mad, to be honest - I was left wondering if there was a cunning double-bluff going on here: rather than being a rather rubbish thriller, this was a clever post-modern deconstruction of the thriller genre, laying bare the sheer banality. Imagine Italo Calvino spoofing Freddie Forsyth, or having Alan Partridge be the next James Bond.
Or perhaps not. Perhaps it is really this bad, and I'm just trying to class it as "ironic" that I spent four hours reading it.