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Gary Nelson has a routine for the commute to his rather dull job in the city. Each day, he watches as a woman on the train applies her make up in a ritual he now knows by heart. He’s never dared to strike up a conversation . . . but maybe one day.

Then one evening, on the late train to Gipsy Hill, the woman invites him to take the empty seat beside her. Fiddling with her mascara, she holds up her mirror and Gary reads the words ‘HELP ME’ scrawled in sticky black letters on the glass.

From that moment, Gary’s life is turned on its head. He finds himself on the run from the Russian mafia, the FSB and even the Metropolitan Police – all because of what this mysterious young woman may have witnessed. In the race to find out the truth, Gary discovers that there is a lot more to her than meets the eye . . .

Praise for Alan Johnson:

‘Charming’ Mail on Sunday
‘Johnson’s writing style is easy, relaxed, self-deprecating . . . impressive’ Observer
‘Johnson writes wonderfully’ Telegraph
‘This boy can write . . .’ The Spectator


Fascinating and ingenious.
Melvyn Bragg
A fast-moving plot, complex but all too credible, expertly told. The fact it comes from the pen of a former Home Secretary makes the rich security detail and the myriad relationships all the more powerful.
Alastair Campbell
Featuring espionage, the Russian Mafia and a gorgeous female on a train with a deadly secret, the tantalising plot has set Alan up for dominance of the bestseller charts for years to come.
Fiona Phillips
Is there no limit to his talents? Not content with being a top politician, and a very nice feller, he turns his hand to writing four memoirs, which win prizes and awards and sell bucketloads. God I was spitting with envy. Why didn't he just stick to politics? I absolutely loved Alan's new thriller, it's brilliant.
Hunter Davies
A smart, captivating, modern but timeless thriller.
John Marrs