Former newsman and occasional MI6 agent Michael Vaux has survived an assassination attempt and plans on a long period of rehabilitation. But the spymasters at Vauxhall Cross, the London HQ of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, have learned of a military plot to overthrow the pro-West regime of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Intelligence sources have warned Britain that a small clique of rebel officers plan to finalize their plans for a coup d’état aboard a pleasure craft heading up the Nile to Aswan. London and Washington have supported military strongman Field Marshal Abdel al-Sisi’s regime since he overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2003. Britain decides to thwart the coup attempt by stealth rather than force and orders the SIS into action.
MI6’s Department B3 is ordered to do what it takes to sabotage the rebels’ aims. And the top brass decide that Michael Vaux, known for his long experience in the region, is the man for the job. Vaux, who is still recovering from the attempt on his life, is told that he is being sent on a ‘recuperative’ Nile cruise to his favorite part of the world. They calculate that his renowned interest in the Mideast will be stirred by the presence of a military contingent among his fellow passengers on the pleasure cruise.
By social contact and shipboard friendships, his MI6 agent runners consider it inevitable that he will learn more about the timing and details of the planned putsch so that it can be aborted by any means necessary. Vaux employs his social wiles to get to the bottom of the conspiracy but discovers that all is not what it seems abord the Levantine Goddess.