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.