Author(s): Nick Spill
Alexander, the curator, is sent to Auckland to escort Captain James Cook to the Auckland Art Gallery. On opening night, the priceless portrait is stolen. Alexander has to find the painting to save his career but he also has to deal with a Soviet spy whom he has been clandestinely photographing. He meets Dr. Mel Johnson who proves irresistible to him when he is invited to her female-only martial arts school. A Maori Land Rights group led by Wiremu Wilson claims to have kidnapped Captain Cook and is holding the painting ransom for lands that were seized before and after the Treaty of Waitangi, and Wiremu has the authorities in a panic. To further complicate Alexander's stay in Auckland he has to deal with Dr. Mel's boyfriend, and his missing scientific notebooks that are wanted by the FBI and the KGB, as well as intrigue between the Security Service and the New Zealand police. Alexander has to come to terms with being a spy, betraying his friends and deciding how far he will go in his new government job. He struggles to discover who he has become and what he has lost. Set in 1976, The Jaded Spy is the middle story of the Jaded trilogy and is a window into a vibrant changing New Zealand, with the growing Maori Land Rights movement, student riots, the Soviet spy scandal and a political party that will do anything to stay in power and destroy its enemies.