The title refers to a plan to exact vengeance for an act which opens the novel, in Kosovo in 1999. The plot deals with an extended cat-and-mouse game, with p.o.v. alternating between the two. On the one side is a man calling himself, among other names, Kassim, trained in Chechnya and the desert camps by specialist `tutors.'
On the other side is Harry Tate, ex-soldier, ex-MI5, now a civilian working for a security company as the novel opens, when he is contacted by a man who had been the UN's local field security representative when Harry had been part of the NATO-led multi-national peacekeeping force, heading a close protection (read "bodyguard") assignment for a UN VIP. The time and place? Kosovo, 1999. It appears that just before Harry's team left the area, a 14-year-old Muslim girl was raped and murdered inside their compound. And now an assassin is tracking down all those who were present and one by one killing them. Harry is tasked with finding the rest of the men before any more lives are lost - - his own included.
The action-packed novel moves from the desert to London, Paris, New York City, Brussels and Moscow, among other places, in a suspenseful and intense journey. The author has done a terrific job creating a totally believable world and an equally credible protagonist. It is even possible, shockingly, to find the antagonist sympathetic. Tate is not one given to drama, relying instead on thorough investigation and instinct. This was my first introduction to this author, and to Harry Tate, and I can't wait to read the next in the series. Highly recommended.