Slipping Into Shadow (1998)

At the time that Slipping into Shadow came out I realised that I had to accept a few hard facts. I was going to have to get used to the fact that I was not going to see any more of the following:

  • Animal names in the title
  • Mi-24 Hind-D helicopter gunships on the cover (although one did turn up on a reprint)
  • Plots like Firefox or Snow Falcon or Sea Leopard
  • Big epic story lengths like The Bear's Tears

If that sounds like a moan it's not supposed to be. It's just that it took me time to get used to the later books, and with hindsight I can now see the pattern to Craig's 1990s novels. For example a lot of them involve Hyde and/or Aubrey against big multinational companies rather than the Soviet Union, like the technology being stolen in A Hooded Crow or all of that aircraft stuff in A Different War. Villains have tended to be businessmen like Paulus Malin and Winterbourne, etc.

When I first saw the harback's cover I just shook my head and mourned all those 'technology' covers of yesteryear. The Firefox, the submarines, the space shuttles, even the train on the cover of Playing With Cobras. But I decided to give the thing a chance and to tell the truth I enjoyed it.

Patrick Hyde is living a semi-boring existence with chubby girlfriend Ros in Australia (where he had been heading in "Playing With Cobras"). He has been helping the Australian Security & Intelligence service with an investigation of an international drugs ring that involves Burma, among other countries. One of his local Burma help vanishes.

Hyde later goes to England to talk things over with Aubrey and discovers that Jessop (a nasty ex-agenttm) who tried to kill him is now working for the same Winterbourne Holdings outfit that had caused such mischief in "A Different War". Also his Burma contact has turned up dead in England after trying to get in touch with Clive Winterbourne.

Marion Pyott, MP, also from A Different War has her own interests in Burma pertaining to human rights abuses. She and Hyde team up after her own investigation into the Burma contact's death.

Winterbourne Holdings is very keen to silence both of them, permanently. They have a major deal with a Chinese interest which will essentially turn Winterbourne holdings into gigantic (and very profitable) drugs money laundering scheme.

Plus there is another secret that they want left uncovered...

And as we all know now this was sadly the last ever Craig Thomas novel.