Rudi is a cook in a Krakow restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country he's trapped in, a new career - part spy, part people-smuggler - begins. Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities, and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line goes wrong, he is arrested and beaten, and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.
Union has come. The Community is now the largest nation in Europe; trains run there from as far afield as London and Prague. It is an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. So what is the reason for a huge terrorist outrage? Why do the Community and Europe meet in secret, exchanging hostages? And who are Les Coureurs des Bois? Along with a motley crew of strays and mafiosi and sleeper agents, Rudi sets out to answer these questions - only to discover the truth lies both closer to home and farther away than anyone could possibly imagine.
Europe is crumbling. The Xian Flu pandemic and ongoing economic crises have fractured the European Union, and new nations are springing up everywhere, some literally overnight. For an intelligence officer like Jim, it's a nightmare. Every week or so a friendly power spawns a new and unknown national entity which may or may not be friendly to England's interests; it's hard to keep on top of it all. But things are about to get worse for Jim. A stabbing on a London bus pitches him into a world where his intelligence service is preparing for war with another universe, and a man has come who may hold the key to unlocking the mystery.
Alice works at the Scottish embassy in Tallinn in Estonia as a member of the Cultural Section. When two men bring her the jeweled skull of a Scottish saint, her world gets turned on its head, and she becomes the latest recruit to Les Coureurs des Bois. On a Greek island, Benno is just one of hundreds of refuges dreaming of a new life in continental Europe. After hatching an audacious escape plan, he may just get his dream, but at the price of serving some powerful mysterious new masters.