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UK readers

From Boris Starling, the acclaimed bestselling author of Messiah, comes a dazzling novel of international espionage and hardcore detective work set in postwar England.

In December of 1952, with the gloom of the Blitz at last fading and the Cold War beginning to heat up, London was enrobed by a deadly combination of pollution and weather conditions that would come to be called The Great Fog and would claim more than 12,000 lives. In this miasma, a man meets his death in the icy shallows of the Long Water. Some say he was just drunk, wandering through Hyde Park. But for Scotland Yard’s new detective, Herbert Smith, the body will lead to a far more interesting trail when it’s discovered that the young victim’s death was no accident. He was a biochemist, and just hours before he died he had claimed to be in possession of a secret that could change the world.

Smith tried to turn his back on the murky world of spies when he traded in his job at MI5, but now he’s being tailed again, thinly veiled threats emerge, and Scotland Yard cannot insulate him against an underworld of international conspiracies. The CIA, the KGB, and even MI5 had every reason to want the dead man’s secret, even kill for it. As the body count climbs, it’s clear that each time Smith inches closer to the truth, he gets closer to his own perilous demise.