December 2001. A Zodiac inflatable slips away from a submarine off the North African coast. If he hadn't needed American citizenship so badly, Nick Stone wouldn't have agreed to do this one last job, but the CIA's offer of a new life in the United States, and the chance to share it with Carrie, the woman he's fallen in love with, is one he cannot refuse. The job seems simple enough for a man of his particular skills: infiltrate into the Islamic republic of Algeria, kill a money-laundering local businessman and bring back his severed head to the West. Stone isn't told why the man has to die like this, and he doesn't want to know. He just guesses it's got something to do with the democratic world's fightback after the terrible events of September 11th. But as events unfold alarmingly fast, Stone realized that by no means has he been told the full story - and that in reality the job has only just begun. Then comes the devastating news that Carrie, enraged by his broken promise never to work with the CIA again, has turned her back on him forever. Operating in the dangerous underworld of the South of France, where al-Qaeda has embarked on a panicked round-up of funds using their ancient banking system of hawalla, Stone is in at the deep end of a very dirty war.
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