As he ducked he heard the familiar sound, like a giant ripping heavyweight canvas, an automatic weapon throwing bullets at a cyclic rate of almost two thousand rounds a minute, and the bullets tore into the side of the Maserati, beating in the metal with an ear-numbing clangour, while glass exploded in upon Peter like the glittering spray as a storm-driven waves strikes a rock. Glass chips pelted across his back, and stung his cheek and the back of his neck. They sparkled like a diamond tiara in his hair. The hijacking of a jumbo jet off the Seychelles galvanises anti-terrorist chief Peter Stride into the action for which he has spent a lifetime training. But even in the hail of bullets which follows, he knows that this is only the beginning of a nightmare. Stride is the one man who might find the twisted genius who holds the world hostage if only his every move were not anticipated by the enemy . . .