Anna Preston is an agent with MI5.
She would like to think she was an operative in good stead with her employer but she knows that would not be the attitude of her immediate supervisor. "'Headstrong', 'impulsive', 'emotional'. Those were the sorts of words used in the report after 'the screw-up', as Anna had come to think of it. The report had made it clear that it wasn't all her fault. But it hadn't stopped them moving her into her current dead-end job. Dark mutterings about her temperament had dogged her footsteps ever since." When you considered how boring her assignments have been, was it any wonder that her attitude was less than stellar?
Then there was the most recent dressing-down she got just after we meet for the first time, one in which her boss used phrases like 'conduct unbecoming' and 'bringing the department into disrepute', though that last one really was a bit much. She was stopping a scumbag from stealing an old woman's purse on the tube; was it really her fault the jerk tripped when she was evicting him from the car or that her boss was nearby to see it?
Preston's interest in MI5 came from the very long career of her father who had made a name for himself over the years. After his death, she decided that the same firm would be a good choice. Since then she had found having such a respected parent would work for and against her but she never wanted to use his name to advantage; she wanted to earn her way herself. Unfortunately not everyone was thinking the same way.
That is how our following of Preston will begin, that and the fact that when she gets a chance to show her abilities, the mission will coincidentally involve an old boyfriend from many years before - a fellow for whom the work 'feckless' is used for very good reason. Well, it also deals with a notorious Russian hitman in England for an unknown reason and that fellow's powerful boss who has a bizarre interested in a popular British cooking show called "Meal of Fortune".