With instructions to assassinate the two leaders of the new radical CDP (Christian Democrat Party), a terrorist unit—a man and a girl—bring sudden death and horror to London.
After gunning down one CDP leader in his Westminster flat the pair set off to execute another, the Reverend Paul Carpenter, in Hampstead. The appearance of the police compels the pair to avoid capture by seizing this leader and his secretary, and with their hostages, barricading themselves into Carpenter’s flat.
There follows a crescendo of tension. On the one hand there are the young terrorists, oddly calm and manifestly without scruples; on the other, there is Commander Allan Dice, in charge of the police operation—an aloof, private man with strong principles and a deep misery over his wife’s infidelity. Dice, on whom the whole responsibility rests, is all too aware of the appalling threat to the hostages’ lives and the need to maintain a ruthless pressure of doubt in the terrorists’ minds.
And beyond the immediate siege with its vast deployment of police resources there are frenzied repercussions in the corridors of Whitehall and the Kremlin.
The violent and unforeseen climax tests all of Dice’s and the hostages’ courage and moral strength.