Charity worker Susan Grant is being terrorized by a masked stalker and, whilst the police are skeptical of her story, Cowley, who knew her father, believes her. Bodie is assigned to protect her and kills an intruder who breaks into her flat. Suspicion falls on her elderly work colleague Henry, an inveterate human rights campaigner, who keeps pictures of Susan in his flat. But what are his motives and how is he connected to the sinister gang who clearly want to hurt Susan?
Cowley forms a plan to reel in Rahad, an Arab diplomat and suspected assassin. Bodie joins a card school, losing heavily, and Rahad offers to pay his debts on condition Bodie gives him secret information about CI5. Doyle employs Anna, a sophisticated, intelligent escort to spy on Rahad. When Rahad is led to believe that Anna is a danger to him and is photographed paying someone he erroneously believes to be a hit-man to kill her, the trap is sprung.
To Cowley's annoyance, CI5 are to protect Colonel Ojuka, a former head of an African country who is to attend a conference with a view to regaining power. Bodie and Doyle foil two assassination attempts, but Ojuka honestly seems to have no idea who was behind them. Cowley suspects a government official with business interests in Africa, but someone closer to Ojuka also has a grievance.
Former agent Quinn escapes from Repton mental hospital and, after renting a room which he re-arranges to look like a cell, retrieves his gun from the woods. He has recalled the days when he was captured and brain-washed by the KGB into killing four of his colleagues. He shoots two of them, in one case fatally, before pursuing his next target - Cowley, who escapes protective custody to seek out Quinn and do a deal with him.
A group of young middle-class drop-outs, led by the ferocious and P.L.O.-trained Ulrike Herzl, declares war on the legal system, murdering members of the judiciary. One of their number, Jimmy Kilpin, is caught, and when he offers to reveal their arms dump, the gang kills him and a CI5 operative. Bodie and Doyle capture Herzl and have to trick her into disclosing the whereabouts of a bomb designed to blow up a court-house.