Major Harry Maxim, formerly of the SAS, is a mysterious man who lost his wife to a horrific plane accident. He is as surprised as anyone when he is hired by 10 Downing Street to assist in matters of defence and security.
Using all the knowledge from his days in military intelligence, he tries to understand and counter a number of suspect events: a suicide at the ministry of defence, a hand grenade thrown through the door of number ten and a Czech defector with a file worth killing for.
They all seem to point towards Professor John Tyler, a nuclear strategist who will state Britain's case when Europe's think tank on Armageddon gathers in Luxembourg.
First published in 1980, The Secret Servant begins Gavin Lyall's Harry Maxim series.