In this short, powerful novel, the long arm of the CIA reaches out, first branding agent Louis Morgon as a terrorist, later snatching a young man befriended by Louis Ė Zaharia - from his school in the States. Suddenly, Zaharia disappears from the face of the earth as though he doesnít exist. Now ex-CIA Louisís only option to save his young friend is to leverage the boy from the hands of his interrogators. From Cairo to France to Washington, DC, the story crosses the border of reason while Morgon, now seventy, has begun a surprising new relationship with a woman, his past reaching out to claim him and locate Zaharia.
Steinerís protagonist is far beyond the years of his service, but his own fate in the agency - being branded a terrorist - turns him against a way of life that give him the skills of a spy, loyalty to his government damaged by the actions of others. Morgon may assume he can exist in peace in France, but it is a false choice since the inception of one manís enmity. Now Louis faces a daunting trial of his resources, both physical and emotional.
The world of the spy is mysterious, but Louis is familiar with the techniques, the traps and the price of failure. While circumstances have falsely placed him once more as the target of his enemy, it is innocent Zaharia who must pay the price in real-world terms. As scenes shift between agents, Morgonís struggle with his physical infirmities and the growing relationship with his new lady, Steiner describes a much-changed world where one man can be branded a terrorist and another disappear into the dark places where torture and interrogation are a horrible reality. The parameters of safety, patriotism and loyalty have eroded, no longer subject to the same boundaries. Steiner reminds us how easily lives can be irrevocably altered.