Violence has been privatised. Smith works for a company that specialises in violent solutions.
“The natural government of the world is gangsterism. The establishment is the biggest gang in town.
But gangsters worry that some day they won’t be frightening enough, charismatic enough, clever enough . . . to prevent a revolution.”
Smith isn’t interested in revolution.
Revenge will do.
For the moment.
Stephen Smith is a translator. He is also trained to kill and hurt. Employed by a private security company owned by two brothers with a grotesque sense of humour, he goes out to the highest bidder, mainly the UK government who prefer not to use their own for any really dirty business. After a particularly gruesome event pricks his conscience Smith has a break down and is imprisoned ‘for his health’. The brothers disagree about what to do with him. One of them, Cornelius, wants him dead. The other, Horatio, likes the idea of keeping him alive, to annoy his brother.
After a failed attempt on his life Stephen decides to go rogue, escaping and embarking on a series of escapades that will expose the company and the people who employ them. Cornelius orders Blake, a serving policeman, disturbed and psychopathic, to track Smith down. The two outsiders, both being used by people who hold them in disdain, create bloody mayhem across a violent Britain where, if ‘the establishment’ is the biggest gang in town, it is also an unwieldy dinosaur, vulnerable to attack from the wildly unpredictable Smith.
Is Smith a revolutionary? An anarchist? He doesn’t think so. As far as he is concerned, this is the response of reasonable people to an unequal society. And he’ll keep it up as long as he’s having fun.