A gripping new spy thriller from the author of An Agent of Deceit: 'The best debut spy adventure I've read in a long time' The Times
For over a decade Chris Morgan Jones worked for Kroll, the world's largest investigations company, where he specialised in Russian matters and international disputes. His first novel An Agent of Deceit was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. The Jackal's Share, which also features private spy Ben Webster, is his second. Chris lives in London with his wife and two children.
'The Jackal's Share reunites us with corporate spy Ben Webster from his debut An Agent of Deceit. Morgan Jones does invite comparison with Le Carre, and never more so than in this elegant novel about the dark, amoral charisma of the super-rich - in this case Darius Qazai, an Iranian expat who runs an enormous asset-management business and has hired Webster to investigate his own reputation in the runup to its sale. Webster must struggle to remain uncompromised - and, later, safe from the forces his mission sets in motion. Murky, mesmerising stuff' Guardian 'Ambivalent as ever about the ethics of the superrich and his part in solving their problems, Webster proves to be the ethically troubled anti-Bond. A more-than-worthy sequel with deft, complex and believable plotting, tense, gut-wrenching action, and classy literary writing' Kirkus Starred Review 'Chris Morgan Jones's debut novel, An Agent of Deceit, was rightly praised for continuing the reconfiguration of the spy novel begun by such terrific authors as Charles Cumming after the Berlin Wall came down and east versus west became too simplistic an analysis of world politics. But with The Jackal's Share it becomes clear that, actually, Morgan Jones is writing detective as well as spy fiction. The novel is as much Raymond Chandler as John le Carre; as much The Big Sleep as The Spy Who Came in From the Cold ... Ben Webster's character has interesting complexities. Like Marlowe, he has his own morality and doesn't much like the wealthy - including his own client. But down these moneyed streets a man must go, although, unlike Marlowe, Webster does it with wife and kids in tow ... Webster's characterisation is strong and carried along in the flow of the plot, which has the broad canvas of a spy novel: Middle Eastern politics are central and there are trips to Lake Como, Dubai and Marrakech. The author is deft with all his characterisations but, in particular, he has created two genuinely chilling antagonists, one whose menace is horribly physical, the other whose seeming omniscience provides the threat. He also has an assured sense of place whether in his foreign locations or moving around London ... Chris Morgan Jones has more than equalled his powerful debut and in Ben Webster has created a flawed, likable central character. I look forward to getting to know him better' Observer 'A surprising plot and deceptively simple prose distinguish Jones's exceptional thriller, his second after his impressive debut, 2012's An Agent of Deceit' Publishers Weekly