Summoned late at night to the Bureau, Quiller attends a secret conference with the Foreign Secretary and a surprise defector: the Chinese ambassador to Britain. Minutes later the ambassador's body is flung out onto the sidewalk of a deserted London street, riddled with bullets.
Quiller is sent to meet Sojourner, the key figure in a plan to bring democracy to China. The same night Sojourner, too, lies dead, the shadow of a hooded cobra weaving across his body.
Quiller snatches Dr. Xingyu, the notorious Chinese dissident, from a trap set by the Chinese secret police at Kaitak Airport and smuggles him into Tibet.
Quiller's instructions are to fly Dr. Xingyu into Beijing, but he is threatened at every step by the secret police and the People's Liberation Army in a relentless manhunt among the ruined monasteries on the "roof of the world," where the cold and the altitude alone can kill.
For the first time in his career, Quiller feels himself personally engaged in a mission, for the aim of Bamboo is to avenge the tragic bloodshed of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and help the people of China to achieve the freedom and democracy they crave.
How it starts...
Chapter 1 - Hyde
It was 1:59 A.M. when the telephone woke me and I rolled over and answered it and Tilson said they wanted me there right away and I told him no, it was too soon.
The line went silent and then Tilson came back on againI suppose he'd turned away to talk to someone.
"Fully urgent," he said.
The raw chill of a November fog came drifting through the open window, and I could hear a taxi throttling up along Knightsbridge in the distance.
"I've only been back ten days," I said.