Escape from Kazakhstan lands James Ballantyne in a Russian prison. What seems to be an easy way out turns into a dead end. Only the charm of Ocksana Petrova, his girlfriend, gets him away from a penal colony and back to London.
But he has to pay the price by agreeing to infiltrate an international conspiracy known as ‘The Tontine.’ His boss at the Foreign Office details him to identify the leading members and steal the Matrix which is the secret weapon they mean to use to disrupt Oil Supplies to Europe.
He is sent to Romania for an undisclosed objective. It turns out to be the assassination of a rival member. The team travels together and when the killing is set up Ballantyne cannot bring himself to shoot in cold blood. He has to manoeuvre to avoid taking the shot and comes under suspicion.
Can he escape discovery? He offers to undertake more work for the group to shield himself. Among hired mercenaries and professional killers, he moves through the underworld of Paris, Malta and Italy.
An accidental slip by a Foreign Office clerk reveals his true identity to one of the gang masters and Ballantyne is forced to kill to protect his own life. From then on he puts aside his misgivings and is prepared to do whatever is necessary to finish the job.
He finds himself in a whirlwind of violence and treachery. The climax comes when the most powerful Tontine member Count Fosco plans to use the Matrix to eliminate the others. How can James stop him?
The book closes with James Ballantyne taking his own special revenge against international treachery.