Author(s): Edward Wilson
Catesby takes over the South America Desk at MI6, only to discover that disaster in the South Atlantic is looming. Downing Street is slashing defence spending, but refusing to negotiate a Falklands deal. With hostilities imminent, Catesby's job is to prevent the Argentine Junta from obtaining more Exocet missiles. Catesby is summoned and given a secret and highly sensitive task by the Foreign Secretary. He is sent to Peru via Washington to help negotiate a last minute peace deal. Catesby knows that the peace deal involves Faustian pacts. The right-wingers in Reagan's White House want the repressive Junta to survive--and many in London would prefer Thatcher not to survive. But Catesby and the Foreign Secretary have an unspoken bond. Both men have experienced the horror of war and want to spare others. In the early hours of 2 May, the Junta agrees new peace terms. Twelve hours later, the Belgrano is torpedoed and sunk. Catesby is left in a state of shock and disillusionment. The novel's conclusion focuses on Catesby's attempts to uncover what he supposes are lies about the sinking of the Belgrano. The Secret State is impenetrable and finding truth is impossible.