Endgame (Agent 21)

By: Chris Ryan

About the Book

‘Don’t come after us . . . remember the first thing I ever taught you – that your first duty is to stay alive.’

Zak Darke has been operating solo, in total secrecy, for a shadowy government organization.

When his handlers are abducted by somebody with a serious personal vendetta against him, Zak has no choice but to go after them. And heading across the world to find them – into danger like he’s never known before – is something that he cannot do alone . . .

* * *


* * *


Real name: Zak Darke

Known pseudonyms: Harry Gold, Jason Cole

Age: 15

Date of birth: March 27

Parents: Al and Janet Darke [DECEASED]

Operational skills: Weapons handling, navigation, excellent facility with languages, excellent computer and technical skills.


Real name: Ricky Mahoney

Age: 14

Date of birth: August 8

Parents: Fred and Elaine Mahoney [DECEASED]

Operational skills: Pickpocketing, covert entry, weapons handling, self-defence.


Real name: classified

Known pseudonyms: ‘Gabriella’, ‘Gabs’

Age: 27

Operational skills: Advanced combat and self-defence, surveillance, tracking.

Currently charged with ongoing training of Agent 21 on remote Scottish island of St Peter’s Crag.


Real name: classified

Known pseudonyms: ‘Raphael’, ‘Raf’

Age: 30

Operational skills: Advanced combat and self-defence, sub-aqua, land-vehicle control.

Currently charged with ongoing training of Agent 21 on remote Scottish island of St Peter’s Crag.


Real name: classified

Known pseudonyms: ‘Mr Bartholomew’

Age: classified

Recruited Agent 21 after death of his parents. Currently his handler. Has links with MI5, but represents a classified government agency.


Real name: classified

Age: classified

Recruited Agent 22 after identifying his potential during a chance encounter. Currently his handler. Represents the same classified government agency as ‘Michael’.


Age: 17

Significant information: Succeeded Cesar Martinez as head of largest Mexican drug cartel. Ruthless, possibly psychopathic. Thought to blame Agent 21 for death of father. Highly intelligent.


Age: 14

Significant information: Borderline autistic computer hacker. Known to have cracked the security of a number of intelligence agencies. Has provided help to Agent 21 in the past.



It’s always dark at night. But some places are darker than others. St Peter’s Crag was one of those places.

It was 2 a.m. on 3 January. Christmas was long forgotten, as were any New Year celebrations. Not that many celebrations ever occurred here. A strong wind howled as it circled this bleak rocky outcrop in the North Sea. Waves crashed against the sharp rocks that surrounded the island. Even in fine weather, it was very difficult to approach by sea. Tonight it would be impossible.

A solitary figure in a black oilskin coat struggled across the barren terrain towards the building that sat alone in the middle of St Peter’s Crag. His name was Stan. Stan had learned long ago that, on nights like this, it was better to stay in the warm protection of his small stone house on the north of the island. But on this particular night, he had work to do, so he was braving the storm.

Stan thought of himself as a caretaker. As a young man he had been a soldier, and this job suited someone who was used to taking orders and not asking questions. He looked after the strange inhabitants of this island. There were three of them, most of the time. A man and a woman in their late-twenties, who called themselves Raf and Gabs, though Stan strongly suspected these were not their real names. And a teenager called Zak. Occasionally a fourth man, who called himself Michael, would arrive. The others looked up to him – he was obviously their boss. From time to time, a helicopter would arrive to ferry everyone except Stan from the island. Sometimes they were gone for weeks. Whenever they returned they were tired and grimy, and in need of the food and other supplies with which Stan kept the house well stocked.

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