Barker, a deranged, embittered old lag and his young accomplice Stacey - whom he disguises as a female hostage - dig in on a warehouse roof, pointing their machine-gun at a hospital ward and threatening to kill the patients unless they are given a million pounds. Bodie and ace climber Murphy scale a factory chimney to get height on them but almost scupper the operation. Doyle, however, after a visit to Stacey's girlfriend, has a better plan.
When a South American student, an apparent cocaine trafficker, is shot dead, Cowley takes his sister, Diana, into protective custody to discover who is organizing the racket. It turns out that Diana is working to destroy the ring and has powerful enemies in her government back home and a corrupt civil servant working with her country's ambassador. Bodie and Doyle must protect her in what is known as Operation Susie, a top secret operation.
Cowley is made an unusual proposition by Jack Stone, a notorious villain and hard man. Stone will cooperate with the law and give himself up in return for protection for his wife Chrissie and their children. His son Nick is the victim of a hit-and-run outside his school and it is apparent that Stone is the target of a vendetta. CI5's job is to find out who is behind it and why.
Mentally unstable Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lawson escapes from an army psychiatric hospital. He is in possession of vital NATO secrets regarding the world's most toxic gas and it is vital he be located. Has he been abducted by Russian agents or is he merely on a deranged campaign of his own to restore 'Britishness' to his country? Bodie and Doyle are sent to find him - with explosive results.
Doyle is shot in his flat by an intruder and Cowley believes the connection lies with a terrorist group, two of whose members were blown up following a car chase by CI5. Whilst Doyle lies in a coma dreaming of surreal graveyard conversations with his boss, Cowley and Bodie piece together the events of the last few days to identify the person who pulled the trigger and prevent them from doing it again.
Acting independently of each other Doyle and Bodie pose as hitmen to infiltrate a mysterious group of assassins whose targets are all retired government officials. Bodie's hit, Liz Walsh, an old colleague of Cowley, colludes in her supposed death for the publicity and helps Cowley work out who could possibly want to get rid of a group of apparently insignificant people. MI6 interference also hampers the operation until Liz exposes a possible traitor.
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.