Thomas Lang is an out-of-work British intelligence officer tied up in a convoluted case of international espionage. The novel opens with Lang thwarting the murder of an American businessman. How does he know about the attempt? Because he was offered the contract and declined it. Instead, he goes to warn the would-be victim, but somehow manages to land himself in a situation where he ends up looking more like the perpetrator than the hero. It’s an amusing roller-coaster ride from there on out.
Hugh Laurie is hilarious as an actor. And lucky for us, he writes as funnily. The hero of the novel, Thomas Lang, makes so much fun of the situations he’s in, that I sometimes forgot to take seriously the graveness of the plot (which is a thrilling one for sure). Make no mistake, while the book is a sort of spoof on the spy genre, Lang is the opposite of Maxwell Smart. He is a very capable and formidable agent – it just so happens that his sarcasm and mocking commentary leave you laughing aloud.