The Last Enemy
Reclusive mathematician Stephen Ezard returns to England from China to attend the funeral of his brother Michael, an aid worker killed by a landmine in Afghanistan. He finds a world that has changed -- biometric ID cards are compulsory, public spaces are monitored 24 hours a day by digital cameras and armed police patrol the streets. Feeling like an outsider at his brother's funeral, Stephen escapes to Michael's apartment. There he is shocked to find a dying woman tended to by Yasim Anwar, who introduces herself as Michael's wife. Nadir, the ill woman dies, leaving Stephen and Yasim overwhelmed with grief at their losses. The two find comfort with each other and sleep together. The next morning, Stephen is summoned to a meeting at the Inquirendo company to learn about their new Total Information Awareness (TIA) system. TIA is described as a super database that brings together all records on individuals and allows the government unlimited access to personal data. The company offers to fund Stephen's research in exchange for him becoming the public face of TIA, but Stephen declines. Stephen races back to the apartment to see Yasim, but she and Nadir have vanished. Instead, old flame and now government minister Eleanor Brooke turns up, explains her involvement in TIA, and asks for Stephen's help. Realizing TIA's potential for his own purposes, Stephen agrees to help. Meanwhile, the menacing rogue agent David Russell has tracked Nadir down to the Ezard apartment. Three high-level security service personnel, Barbara Turney, George Gibbon and Patrick Nye, are anxiously watching Russell and guarding their own secret. Stephen starts work on the TIA system, and traces Yasim to a meeting with a scientist, Professor John Moreton. Stephen confronts Moreton on his connection to Yasim, but Moreton offers no details. Next, Stephen uses TIA to search for his not-quite-right neighbor Andrew Batz, and finds closed circuit video footage of Batz visiting Yasim at a hostel. Stephen stakes out the hostel and follows Yasim to Moreton's research lab. Events take a violent turn with the appearance of a gunman. Yasim escapes, but Stephen is knocked unconscious by the assassin, who leaves the gun lying beside him.