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Authentic, unnervingly current and action-packed, Ultimatum is the explosive new thriller from BBC security correspondent and No.1 bestseller Frank Gardner.
Deep within a cave system at a military complex south-east of Tehran, hidden from the prying eyes of Western satellites, scientists are working round-the-clock on a banned device. Acting on the orders of a renegade cell within the ultra-conservative Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, their intention is to propel Iran into the elite club of nuclear-armed nations – and seal its domination of the Middle East.
Britain’s intelligence agencies know something is up. They have someone on the inside ready to hand over information but first he must get out of Iran. Crossing the mountainous border into Armenia, he was due to rendezvous with MI6 agent Luke Carlton at a remote, snowbound monastery. But the mission goes bloodily wrong. Luke needs to be extracted. And fast.
On the back foot after that fiasco, MI6 is presented with an opportunity to recruit someone with unique access to the leader of the IRGC hardliners. And Luke is chosen to reel them in. Going into Iran undercover is dangerous enough, but then a senior British government minister on an official visit is kidnapped, his close protection officer killed and Britain is presented with a terrifying ultimatum. With the clock ticking, Luke Carlton races to head off a catastrophic confrontation in the Gulf . . .
Crisis, the debut two years ago by the BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, was much admired, and the second in his Luke Carlton series is even better . . . its themes of Iranian bomb production and divisions in the country's elite have great topicality. -- John Dugdale * SUNDAY TIMES 'Thriller of the Month' * Lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending. Good stuff. -- Frederick Forsyth * DAILY MAIL * Frank Gardner's second thriller is even closer than his first, Crisis, to dealing with the world's most immediate fears . . . current international events do not necessarily turn into exciting novels, but Gardner skilfully mixes knowledge garnered as the BBC's security correspondent with breathless action. -- Marcel Berlins * THE TIMES * Outstanding. * SUNDAY TIMES * Confirms Frank Gardner's place among the pantheon of distinguished reporters who have become excellent thriller writers, including Gerald Seymour and Frederick Forsyth . . . utterly authentic . . . it grips like a python from the first page, squeezing the breath out of the reader. * DAILY MAIL *
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