Liz Carlyle has been transferred to Counter-Espionage, along with her research sidekick Peggy Kingsolving. Once the hub of MI5 operations, the department has been reduced in size since the end of the Cold War, and priority within the service is on counter-terrorism. Yet there is plenty for Liz to do. In fact, there are more spies operating in London today than during the height of East-West hostilities. This includes Russian spies, who continue to operate in number. What's changed is their targets - now they spy on the international financial community that has made London its base in the last twenty years, as well as on the wealthy influential Russian òligarchs', many of whom have also come to London to live. Liz learns of a Russian government plot to sìlence' one of these oligarchs, Nikita Brunovsky, who is an increasingly vocal opponent of the Putin regime. How he is to be kept quiet is unclear, but since the Foreign Office dread any kind of incident, Liz is assigned to keep it from happening.