Series: Alex Rider
Age Range: Young Teens
- The usual cast, plus...
- Damian Cray is a rich celebrity pop-singer, admired the world over for the work he's done for many causes.
- Yassen Gregorovich is a contract killer who previously worked alongside Alex's father and who later killed Alex's uncle Ian.
Alex is holidaying with Sabina and her family in the south of France, when he sees Yassen, whom he recognises from Stormbreaker. Soon after, an attempted murder disrupts their holiday and Alex picks up a clue which implicates Damian Cray in the murder. He takes the clue to MI6 who refuse to believe him. So he goes it alone.
Here, the action comes a little closer to Alex's heart. To start with, he finds himself having to choose between staying with Sabina and following the man who killed his uncle: between friendship and revenge. Somewhat ironically, he discovers that Yassen is unwilling to kill Alex. This is partly because he claims not to kill children, and partly because, as we later learn, Alex's father saved his life once. As the plot develops, Cray threatens Sabina to force Alex to cooperate.
The question of Alex seeing his actions as more than a computer game is highlighted here. At one point, he has a gun in his hand and could shoot Yassen. But the latter confidently talks to Alex, making him see that killing someone is not like a computer game: it's an action you have to live with for the rest of your life. This question comes up again, more directly, in Scorpia.
Sabina was numb, walking as if hypnotised. Alex knew what she waas feeling. His own legs almost refused to carry him, to take these steps. As the door loomed up ahead, he saw Yassen appear from inside, dragging a body dressed in blue trousers and a blue waistcoat: one of the air stewards. Another innocent man sacrificed for Cray's mad dream.
Friday 12th August 2005