In London Albert William Packer, known as Mister, is master of all he surveys. He rules the manor with an iron fist - transgression is punished savagely, and moonlighting is rooted out and dealt with without hesitation. For twenty years, Packer has had it all his own way - the police and intelligence services have targeted him but have yet to get close to any sort of effective prosecution. After the collapse of the most recent National Crime Squad case against him through the intervention of his lawyer, Henry Arbuthnot, known as the Eagle, Packer sets out to broaden his horizons. His core business is heroin, bought from the Turks in Green Lanes and distributed around the capital. But he wants to cut out the middle man and in order to do so must travel to Sarajevo to parlay with the middle man where he hopes to negotiate safe transit through the black market crossroads that is the former Yugosalvia.
But there is one survivor of the latest Home Office debacle, an archivist called Joey Cann who is determined to bring Packer to justice and follows him and his entourage to Sarajevo to glean what he can from the visit and to undermine whatever operation Packer is in the process of setting up. In the wartorn and dismal surroundings of that city, law and order is administered by the gangster warlords whose brutal regime will not tolerate anyone who won't be bought or toe the line. It is the modern day Wild West - guns and drugs are the primary currencies. As Packer attempts to establish his bridgehead against unimpressed opposition, Joey chips away at what is known about the man, uncovering him day by day until he has sufficient momentum to confront him directly...
Once a reporter for Independent Television News, Gerald Seymour has lived in the West Country for several years. His bestselling novels include, among others Harry's Game, The Glory Boys, Red Fox, Field of Blood, The Heart of Danger, Killing Ground, The Waiting Time, A Line in the Sand and, most recently, Holding the Zero. His latest novel The Untouchable is now available from Bantam Press.