"Kilo 17" gives the inside story of a close-knit Customs team during a major drugs investigation. As an Oxford-educated, former member of MI6, Harry is promoted straight over the heads of more experienced officers. But with no previous experience of the drugs world, the Kilos think they need Harry like a hole in the head. But Harry sticks at the job and begins to make progress with his investigation into the affairs of Frank Davies, the local Mister Big. And in the long desperate hunt for evidence, involving a transit van smashing through the front window of an Indian restaurant, chance tip-offs, a moonlit search for a missing ex-SAS soldier, a dawn raid on a fortress-like country house and barely legal flights by light aircraft to Holland, the Kilos begin to chip away at Frank Davies' criminal empire.
A bad career decision led ex-MI6 analyst Harry Ferguson to restart his career as an investigator with HM Customs and Excise. Trained to know everything there is to know about African politics, Harry finds himself unusually ill-equipped to track smugglers through the mean streets of London and the South East. But with the meagre support of colleagues who resent his Oxbridge presence in their working-class tea-rooms, he perseveres, leading to a hard and dangerous chase for the head of Frank Davies, one of the biggest drug barons in the UK. Written in plain and intelligent style, this is a curiously involving look at the foot soldiers of the war against drugs. Partly autobiographical, the better sections of the book neatly explain the politics and the mechanics of activities of the investigators and other law enforcement officers who seize millions of pounds of drugs, and yet are woefully outgunned against an industry that shifts #20 billion of drugs each year. As a fish out of water, Harry is an attractively downbeat narrator who only occasionally lapses into the stylistic errors of a Chandler-esque mood. But when he sticks to the facts, his story is gripping enough to sell itself, with characters like 'The Widow', 'The Dutchman' and 'Lard Boy' brightening his true-to-life anecdotes with just the right measure of naff reality to ring true. (Kirkus UK)