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© Nigel Tranter
Published by The Scotsman Publications Ltd., 1987,
ISBN 0-9 0 2-6 7 0 0 6-9
The action of this book is set in modern times.

The text of this synopsis is taken from the bookjacket.

When Jock Leith, formerly Royal Navy, was sent on a mission of investigation to Andorra in the Pyrenees, he was not long in learning that his presence was unpopular. A Scot, he took it quite personally when his taxi was hijacked on leaving Barcelona airport, and having taken avoiding action in the Spanish marshes, found himself in the category of wanted man. Of an independent mind, and something of a loner, he did not take kindly to such prompt attempt on his life. After all, the investigation was not concerned with dramatics or excitements, but also rather humdrum, the manufacture and distribution of an anti-viral drug called Proteron, even if the ingredients were somewhat scarce.

It made an off-putting start - but thereafter, to have an assistant tacked on to him, unwanted, and a woman at that, was too much, even though she was young, good-looking but too competent by far. She would have to be ditched, somehow.

Andorra was where the Proteron trail led, that tiny, mountainous independent principality between Spain and France, where a duty-free exchange is international big business. But there is smuggling and smuggling, and the kind he found himself up against was lethal indeed, underground in more ways than one, with the mountains themselves playing their part, underground rivers not the only currency to be negotiated and links with that competent and unditchable female not the only items to be forged.

Jock Leith learned much in Andorra , as to the ways of unscrupulous financiers, the drug trade, and counterfeiting money, as well as fighting those mountains - but not least the ways of women, a knowledge he was obviously short on, whatever else.