Court-martialled and dismissed from the marines amid accusations of manslaughter, thirty-year old James Ballantyne’s future looks uncertain—especially after his application to join the Foreign and Colonial office is immediately denied. But when the Kazakhstan desk gives him an unexpected, and lucrative, offer to oversee a commercial contract how could he possibly say no?
Travelling immediately to Kazakhstan for the assignment, he meets his alluring Russian minder, Ocksana Petrova, who is tasked with guiding him through the politics of big business in Central Asia. The sensational buildings, limitless wealth and extravagance astound him. But as events unfold, Ballantyne gets dragged into the darker side of the Ministry’s dealings leading him to an unexpected discovery and to the rescue of a US special agent. Confused over who he can trust, Ballantyne’s life starts to spiral as he is forced to recruit smugglers to get the agent away from Kazakhstan. The escape route is dangerous and it becomes clear they are being monitored every inch of the way. Are his new romantic feelings about Ocksana clouding his judgement and is she the one behind the surveillance? Or has his own team been infiltrated? With ambush and deception at every corner, getting out of Kazakhstan alive will draw upon all of Ballantyne’s military skills, and a lot of luck. But with Ocksana suddenly thrown into danger, Ballantyne needs to decide on whether he should follow his instincts or finish The Kazak Contract.
The Kazak Contract is the first in Paul Purnell’s thriller series starring damaged hero James Ballantyne. A dangerous and fast-paced debut novel this is the perfect next read, and holiday companion, for fans of crime and international thrillers.