When a Turkish bandit holds engineers building the Baghdad Railway to ransom, Britain is secretly relieved as the Railway threatens the Persian Gulf oil-fields.
Feigning help, the Foreign Office sends the notorious Lady Kelso, once lover of the bandit chief, with Captain Matthew Ranklin and Conall O'Gilroy of the fledgling Secret Service Bureau as 'diplomatic protection'.
A journey by the Kaiser's private train to the bandit stronghold leads through ambush, betrayal, murder and bombardment. For there are others - German, Turkish and French - honourably putting their countries' interests above everything. In the misty Turkish mountains, all of Ranklin's military experience and O'Gilroy's back-streets savvy are tested to the full.
Gavin Lyall (1932-2003) lived in Hampstead and enjoyed sailing on the Thames in his motor cruiser. From 1959 to 1962 he was a newspaper reporter and the aviation correspondent for the Sunday Times. His first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, was published in 1961, drawing from his personal experiences in the Libyan Desert and in Greece. Lyall left journalism in 1963 to become a full-time author, writing 17 novels before his death in 2003.
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