In July 1945, MI6 agent Paul Dark took part in a top secret mission to hunt down and execute Nazi war criminals. He will discover that everything he understood about that mission, about its consequences, and about the woman he once loved, has been built on false foundations.
Now it’s 1969 and a KGB colonel called Slavin has walked into the High Commission in Lagos, Nigeria, and announced he wants to defect. His credentials as a defector are good – he has highly suggestive information which indicates that there is yet another double agent within the Service, which would be a devastating blow to an organisation still coming to terms with its betrayal by Kim Philby and the rest of the Cambridge Five.
Dark has been largely above suspicion during MI6’s years of self-recrimination. But this time he can see his number coming up. For some it would be flight or fight time. But when you discover that everything you’ve taken for granted turns out to be untrue, and when your arrest may be only moments away, then sometimes the only option is both flight AND fight!
FREE AGENT is an intense, twisting thriller set between London and Nigeria during the height of the Biafran War. It’s a novel of innumerable cliff-hangers, all set within a constantly evolving moral universe, and the surprises keep coming right up until the last page. This is a remarkable and riveting debut novel, and the first in a trilogy featuring Paul Dark.
"A wholly engrossing and sophisticated spy novel set against a forgotten corner of 20th century history. Fascinating and compelling." - William Boyd, author of RESTLESS and ANY HUMAN HEART
"Jeremy Duns offers an entirely original and fascinating take on the classic spy novel in this provocative, fast-paced thriller. He is a compelling new voice in suspense fiction." - Jeff Abbott, author of PANIC and RUN
"Terse, sardonic, and knowing, FREE AGENT is a take-no-prisoners exploration of loyalty, duplicity and love. I dare anyone to put this book down after reading the first electrifying chapter." - Eric Van Lustbader, author of THE NINJA and THE BOURNE SANCTION
"Deep knowledge of espionage and classic spy novels informs this excellent debut" - The Guardian
"A retro-cool romp as spare of prose as it is cleverly convoluted of plot. Duns has ingeniously caught both the spirit of an era and the spirit of the books which made that era the golden age of spy fiction." - The Daily Telegraph
"Duns’s terrific debut will draw inevitable comparisons to early John le Carre, though the lead character, turncoat British Secret Service agent Paul Dark, is a complete original... Seldom has a thriller plot taken more unseen turns as Paul searches for the truth about his past and the reality of his present. Readers will eagerly await the sequel" - Publishers Weekly
"Superior fiction, with an unexpected twist." - Library Journal
"A cross between James Bond and Jason Bourne... carefully researched so the history is credible, even instructive... The action is fast and violent and so is the hero." - Literary Review
"A rattling good yarn, told with the pace of a Bourne movie and packed with espionage tradecraft as convincing as John le Carre. It also achieves the near-impossible by persuading the reader to care for, indeed cheer for, the villain of the piece." - Shots Magazine
"Duns’s tightly coiled plot recalls the paranoia of Len Deighton's early works and the tension of Adam Hall's Quiller novels" - The Chicago Sun Times
"[A] cracking debut thriller… a diabolically clever novel that will keep you guessing until the final moments." - BookPage
"FREE AGENT is a sleek, fast-paced tale of espionage and international intrigue that held me utterly entranced. Duns is an exceptional talent. As I rapidly turned the pages, I was transported back to the heyday of spy fiction and reminded of the best of Le Carre, Deighton, and Forsyth. Recommended without reservation." - Christopher Reich, author of NUMBERED ACCOUNT and RULES OF DECEPTION
"An authentic espionage novel with accurate tradecraft and intelligence operatives who act with intelligence. If you like vintage John le Carre, you'll love FREE AGENT. Set in the Cold War, packed with history and tension, it's a must-read for any true spy-novel fan." - David Morrell, author of FIRST BLOOD and THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE
"Utterly riveting, FREE AGENT by Jeremy Duns is an international espionage thriller par excellence. Lyrical prose, unforgettable characters, and a fascinating plot that doesn't release the panting reader until the last page makes this spy ride unforgettable. FREE AGENT is the beginning of a classic series that's sure to be a huge hit." - Gayle Lynds, bestselling author of THE LAST SPYMASTER and THE COIL
"The spirit of Len Deighton is alive and well in Duns's first-class debut" - Charles Cumming, author of A SPY BY NATURE and TYPHOON
"Terrific. Real classic Cold War spy stuff." - Bookseller
"The weight of Duns' historical detail is impressive... and the whole of the trilogy is much greater than the sum of its parts. The immediacy of Duns' writing grabs and suspends the reader in a beautifully realized heartbeat of recent history." - Kirkus Reviews