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Image / Living / Culture

Read an extract from Ava Glass’s second novel ‘The Traitor’


By Sarah Gill
06th Sep 2023
Read an extract from Ava Glass’s second novel ‘The Traitor’

The highly anticipated follow up to Ava Glass’ 2022 debut spy thriller, film rights to the series have already been acquired. Read an extract here…

From the glittering shores of St. Tropez to the sun-drenched streets of Barcelona, The Traitor is former spy insider Ava Glass’s high-octane thriller set in the billionaires’ playground of the glamourous French Riviera.

A dead body in a padlocked suitcase, chemical weapons, and an MI5 traitor selling secrets to the Russians sets the scene for British agent Emma Makepeace’s thrill packed mission on the med.

Emma must go undercover, working below deck as a crew member on luxury super yacht The Eden. Setting sail from St Tropez, The Eden’s Russian owner and his bikini-clad supermodel girlfriend are under surveillance by MI6, suspected of procuring illegal weapons from the UK.

Out at sea with no escape, Emma must tread carefully as she races to uncover who the traitor on board the oligarch’s yacht is. Witnessing a murder and with her cover wearing increasingly thin, one false move and she could be dead. As the hunt intensifies, Emma must find the traitor before he finds her.

A massive new talent in British fiction, Ava Glass’s storytelling is complex and finely crafted, combining twisting plotlines, intelligent dialogue and ambiguous characters, all skilfully brought together in an epic climax. Never before has spy fiction been so nail-bitingly real.

Film rights to The Chase and The Traitor have been acquired by Ink Factory, producers of The Night Manager, who are currently working on a pilot in conjunction with Sky Atlantic, now in the final stages of editing. Next step will be casting…

Read an extract below…

Ava Glass

He was exhausted. He wanted to keep working but the numbers had begun to swim across the lighted screen, refusing to line up in neat, military rows so he could find the pattern he knew must be hidden among them somewhere.

It was just that he was so close. If he could only stay awake he was certain he’d find what he needed.

But it was after two in the morning, and when he closed his eyes and rubbed his knuckles against his forehead he still saw the numbers, burned on his retinas.

He would sleep for a few hours and then start again.

His hands went through the nightly rituals. Turning off the laptop. Flipping it over to remove the battery. Unplugging the Wi-Fi box and router, wrapping each cable neatly behind every device.

It seemed pointless. To be hacked you had to be discovered, and being discovered would mean . . .

He stood abruptly, pushing the chair back so hard it squawked a protest against the wooden floor, and walked away from the things that frightened him. When he crossed the living room, he didn’t have to make a single turn – the apartment held almost no furniture. A sofa, a bed, a chair – that was all he needed. More would be superfluous.

He checked the three locks on the front door and punched the eight-digit code into the alarm. Then he flipped the light switch and the room plunged into darkness. Instantly, he wanted to turn the lights back on again. It took effort to stay in the dark.

The work was making him paranoid. Everywhere he went, he saw shadows following him. All day long he’d felt watched.

Now, the sensation that he was not alone was almost overwhelming.

As he walked the straight line to the bedroom, he reminded himself that nobody could possibly know who he was or where he lived. He’d been careful. By the time he climbed into bed, he almost believed it. When he closed his eyes, he saw the numbers again, floating behind his eyelids like tropical fish.

He had to finish this work before it finished him.

‘Tomorrow. It ends tomorrow.’ He murmured the word aloud, like a promise.

He could not have been asleep long when a sound shook him awake, and he sat up with a start. In the pitch black, he strained his ears, but all he could hear was his own panicked breathing, quick and harsh.

He thought perhaps he’d dreamed the sound. But then it came again. A soft breath – like a sigh.

The lights came on, blinding him. He flung up a hand to shield his eyes.

There were two of them. One stood by the door next to a large black suitcase. The other leaned over the bed, grinning.

That was when he knew he’d been wrong about everything.

They did know who he was. And what he’d been doing.

And they had come to make him stop.

The Traitor by Ava Glass is out on 14 September, (Penguin, €9.60).