Boysie Oakes, ex anguished agent, ex defective private eye, and greying horrifically at the temples, is facing the wilderness of middle-age supported only by the Welfare State.
At long last Boysie Oakes has reached seedy maturity - and he plans to grow old quietly without any more dangerous missions.
Until, like an evil genie, up pops his oily old boss, Mostyn, offering a life of renewed luxury.
Boysie is to become the sole British Director of Air Apparent, an airline which operates from one office, has no aircraft, yet, by juggling with officialdom and illegally chartering aeroplanes, manages to transfer its customers to their destinations at half the scheduled fares and still makes a vast profit.
But when Boysie discovers that Air Apparent is being used for more nefarious purposes, such as the shipment of arms to third world nations, he is forced to call in his old shooting partner, Charlie Griffin.
Events crowd in, culminating in a hijacking, hilarity and, naturally, hectic hedonism.
“Gardner’s at the top of his form.” Daily Mirror
“Boysie Oakes is at the top of his form in this topical thriller.” Guardian
“All very entertaining in a crazy sort of way.” Morning Star
‘Air Apparent’ is the seventh in the Boysie Oakes series of novels by John Gardner. Tightly written and packed with incredible twists, ‘Air Apparent’ is a brilliant continuation of the story of Gardner’s cowardly professional assassin.
It is perfect for fans of classic British spy fiction, including Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, and Desmond Bagley.
His trade has worn him down to the bone, and he sits alone, rejected and punch-drunk and full of self-pity. Reality and fiction have become mixed in his mind.
In increasing financial trouble, he is offered some semblance of security if he will take on just one journalistic assignment behind the Iron Curtain.
All that’s required is an interview with Kit Styles, the most notorious of all defectors from West to East.
But it’s not as straightforward as he thinks.
He hasn’t reckoned with the eternally incompetent and feckless Boysie Oakes; his puppet master, Mostyn; a neatly curved companion, Miss Hester Havisham; exploits, escapes and escapades in a tank and a helicopter and an outrageous group calling themselves the International Travelling Circus.
And if he is not careful, the Traitor's Exit might also be his own.
John Gardner, whose Boysie Oakes has become required reading for spy lovers since he first appeared in ‘The Liquidator’, has written a tale that’s part satire, part farce, always zany and certainly not for those who take their spy fiction too seriously.