DOUBLE AGENT by Tom Bradby

From the publisher:

Kate Henderson Thrillers, Book 2

Kidnapped in Venice by a Russian defector, Kate knows she’s in trouble. But when he offers her conclusive evidence that the British Prime Minister is a live agent working for Moscow, Kate’s holiday quickly becomes the start of her next mission.

The defector has proof of the PM involved in a sordid scandal―a video supposedly used to blackmail him into Russian service decades prior―and a financial paper trail that undeniably links him to the Russians, but his motives are anything but clear. Riddled with doubt that the evidence she is presented with may not in fact be as bulletproof as it seems, Kate reopens the investigation into the PM. As she works through the case, Kate runs up against key people at the heart of the British Establishment who refuse to acknowledge the reality in front of them. And, more worryingly, clear signs that there’s still a mole in her department.

But Kate had already identified and eradicated the mole, codenamed Viper. Could she have been mistaken? And could this horrifying video be a fake, produced by the Russians to sabotage British democracy?

These questions plague Kate as she tries to keep it together for her children and ailing mother, steadily losing sleep and, she fears, her sanity. This mission will push Kate dangerously close to the edge as she continues her relentless fight for the truth.


The second Kate Henderson novel is a continuation of the exploits of people high up in the organization of MI6 with all the good points of the previous book.  A kidnapping of Kate in Venice leads her into a situation in which the British Prime Minister might be a traitor working for the Russians. She is presented with a teaser indicating his guilt and promised all of the file if the individual presenting it is granted asylum in Great Britain. Her working through the facts of the allegations spreads through the highest echelons of the government as well as bringing her into a secret trip into Russia to interview the individual presenting the file.     

The characters portrayed in Bradby’s book have personal pictures of them showing normal situations and private problems that do sometimes conflict with their work.  In Kate’s place, she has two teenage children with their normal motivations living with her since she is divorced from her husband. Her feelings about the rupture with her husband are shown as complex as those of any individual’s emotions would be in a similar situation. 

Additionally, the normal politicking present in any organization affects the thoughts and actions of the people involved.  For example, one of her fellow executives is going through the personal trauma of his wife dying from inoperable cancer and having to face that while going through the problem of giving asylum or not to the people demanding it in order to release the information of the Prime Minister’s guilt. 

Kate’s group is also obviously caught up in the possibility that the file of the PM’s guilt might not really be anything but a misinformation campaign by Russia.  The novel is an interesting read and while not a red hot all night draw is certainly a book that will cause the reader to seek out future Bradby’s works and enjoy them.

11/2020 Paul Lane

DOUBLE AGENT by Tom Bradby. Atlantic Monthly Press (November 3, 2020). ISBN: 978-0802157645. 368 pages.

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