Perfect Night, By Peter Grimsdale

Click to follow

Nick Roker is a twentysomething film director working on his first documentary in Sri Lanka when the notorious arms dealer Rammal, whom he's interviewed, and star presenter Sara Greer, are blown up in an explosion. Roker himself suffers severe injuries, and amnesia that lasts for 13 years, until, working as a film archivist, he uncovers evidence that Rammal is still alive and was someone other than who he claimed to be. His investigation uncovers a conspiracy involving Tamil Tigers, Mossad, the CIA and the British Secret Service – and Roker has to go on the run. The more he remembers, the greater danger he's in, and friends who help him have a habit of ending up dead.

The supporting characters are very well drawn, from Roker's curmudgeonly mate Colin to Tanager, an ageing British ex-agent who's a masterpiece of charm and understated menace. This is a stylish, intelligent thriller which makes the reader put in some work: it isn't always easy to piece together exactly what happened and why. But it's certainly worth the effort.